Ebony Rainford-Brent

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Ebony Rainford-Brent

Personal information
Full name
Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Rosamond Camellia Rainford-Brent
Born (1983-12-31) 31 December 1983 (age 40)
Lambeth, Greater London, England
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
International information
National side
ODI debut (cap 98)11 August 2001 v Netherlands
Last ODI1 March 2010 v India
T20I debut (cap 21)22 August 2008 v South Africa
Last T20I4 March 2010 v India
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition WODI WT20I WLA WT20
Matches 22 7 114 25
Runs scored 377 53 2,450 484
Batting average 23.56 8.83 24.50 30.25
100s/50s 0/2 0/0 3/12 0/2
Top score 72 23* 154* 80*
Balls bowled 96 747 42
Wickets 2 11 2
Bowling average 45.00 51.09 18.00
5 wickets in innings 0 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0
Best bowling 1/8 3/22 1/7
Catches/stumpings 4/– 0/– 28/– 11/–
Source: CricketArchive, 6 March 2021

Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent MBE (born 31 December 1983) is an English former cricketer who is now a commentator and Director of Women's Cricket at Surrey. She was the first black woman to play for England. She was also captain of the Surrey women's team.

Rainford-Brent was a member of the England team that won the 2009 Women's Cricket World Cup in Australia. England beat New Zealand by 4 wickets in the final held at North Sydney Oval on 22 March 2009. In the three months following their World Cup win, the team went on to win the final of the 2009 Women's World Twenty20 (again beating New Zealand in the final), win the NatWest One Day series 4–0 against Australia, and retain the Women's Ashes.

After retiring from cricket, Rainford-Brent has gone on to become a sporting executive, a pundit for the BBC's flagship radio programme Test Match Special (she is one of the first female expert summarisers to commentate on men's international cricket matches), and a motivational speaker. In January 2015, Rainford-Brent returned to Surrey after being appointed their first Director of Women's Cricket. Since 2017, Rainford-Brent has hosted a podcast, The Art of Success. In 2020 she became a part of the Sky Sports cricket commentary team.

Early life[edit]

Born on New Year's Eve in 1983 at St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth, Greater London, Rainford-Brent was brought up in Herne Hill, southeast London. She was the youngest of four children; being the only girl, she was named after all her grandmothers and great-grandmothers, which led to her being called Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent to appease everyone.[1]

Her introduction to cricket came through the charity Cricket for Change, which visited her primary school when she was aged 9.[2] She later attended the Grey Coat Hospital school in Westminster.[1] She showed considerable sporting prowess; successful at many sports including football and basketball, and represented London at the English Schools' Athletics Championships in several disciplines, but she decided to focus on cricket.

However, her promising cricket career was interrupted by a serious back injury. At age 19, she was diagnosed with two prolapsed discs and a pars defect.[3] Her injuries forced her to take a year out from her studies at University College London (UCL), and NHS doctors advised her to give up playing any form of sport.[1]

After taking advice and support from her elder brother, she sought alternative opinions and treatment from numerous specialists. Eventually, the Talented Athletes Scholarship Scheme (TASS) programme made contact with her; they provided the necessary treatment and support to aid her recovery.[1] Just under three years later, she recovered enough to represent her country at the 2007 World series in Chennai, India. She was named UCL Sportswoman of the Year in March 2007, and successfully completed her studies, graduating with a Masters in Chemistry.[4]

Cricket career[edit]

Rainford-Brent played for Surrey throughout her playing career, from the under-11s to the senior team. She was captain of the Surrey Women's cricket team, which in 2011 gained promotion to the top flight of domestic women's cricket – the LV County Championship Division One.

As well as being a member of the England Women's World Cup-winning team, her international playing career highlights include, winning Player of the Match against the West Indies in 2009, with a career best 72 not out.[5][6]

She was the first woman cricketer to score three consecutive ducks in WT20I history.[7]

She is a fully qualified cricket coach, tutor trainer and a Master Practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Media work[edit]

Rainford-Brent has carried out numerous media engagements over the years. In addition to being a match host for Surrey County Cricket men's games, she has appeared as a guest presenter on BBC Newsround; also as an occasional expert and pundit on Sky Sports[8] and BBC Breakfast. She has written numerous blogs and articles for BBC Sport, Cricket World and others. In 2012, she began to appear on BBC radio's Test Match Special (TMS). Initially summarising women's games, she later also contributed to domestic men's matches and has since appeared as a TMS summariser for several men's international matches.[9] In November 2014, it was announced that Rainford-Brent would be going to the men's 2015 Cricket World Cup as one of the team of expert summarisers for TMS.

In October 2016, she worked for the TMS team in both the first and second Tests (of a two-match series) between Bangladesh and England, in Chittagong and Dhaka. In 2020 she joined the Sky Sports cricket commentary team, however she has also been added as a TMS summariser for the Third Test between England and Pakistan from 21 August 2020.

Cricket executive[edit]

During her playing career, Rainford-Brent was appointed as one of the first ever Chance to Shine Coaching ambassadors: delivering cricket and motivational talks to state schools and clubs throughout England and Wales.[10]

In 2011, Rainford-Brent began work as a cricket executive for the charity Lord's Taverners. She eventually became Cricket programmes manager for the charity, developing national programmes to support disadvantaged and disabled young people to access sport.

In 2013, Rainford-Brent was appointed as a Trustee of the England and Wales Cricket Board Trust (EWCT).[11]

In 2014, Rainford-Brent was appointed as the first Director for Surrey Women's Cricket.[12][13] The role involves working with Academy Director, Gareth Townsend, and the Performance Department advising on all Women's cricket played at the club. She also works with the Surrey Cricket Board on the development of the Women's game and strategies to increase participation at all levels. In this role, she was involved in the organisation of a women's Twenty20 match between Surrey and Middlesex in May 2015.[14] Rainford-Brent, in discussing the event, suggested that the game would be the inaugural match in what was intended to become an annual tournament.

In January 2020 she launched Surrey's African-Caribbean Engagement (ACE) programme, aimed at encouraging black teenagers into cricket.[15][16] By January 2023 it had reached 10,000 children with 141 academy scholars training twice a week.[17]

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to cricket and charity.[18][19]

In 2023 Rainford-Brent was appointed to the ECB Board as a Cricket Non-executive Director.[20] Also in 2023, she was awarded an honorary degree by Loughborough University in recognition of her contribution to cricket, TV and radio broadcasting, and her work championing diversity in sport.[21]

Rainford-Brent is a Beyond Sport Ambassador.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d Andrew Tong (28 January 2007). "Bubbly Ebony rises after trials of body and soul". The Independent. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  2. ^ Riach, James; @James_Riach (19 December 2014). "Ebony Rainford-Brent: 'My cricket journey was almost complete pot luck'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  3. ^ Jamie Lillywhite (17 January 2007). "Making a name for herself". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 27 June 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
  4. ^ "Rainford Brent wins UCL Sportswoman of the Year". ICC. 22 March 2007. Archived from the original on 26 May 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
  5. ^ "2nd ODI: West Indies Women v England Women at Basseterre, Nov 5, 2009 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Rainford-Brent helps England level series". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Records | Women's Twenty20 Internationals | Batting records | Most consecutive ducks | ESPN Cricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE says she feared a social media backlash over her stance against racism". Sky Sports. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  9. ^ Glancy, Josh (23 November 2014). "Isa Guha and Ebony Rainford-Brent: Howzat for bowling a googly at the old boys' club?". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 5 March 2024.
  10. ^ "Women Get chance to shine". European Central Bank. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
  11. ^ "Rainford-Brent appointed to ECB Trust | England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) - The Official Website of the ECB". web.archive.org. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  12. ^ "Surrey appoint Ebony Rainford-Brent as their first director of women's cricket". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 March 2024.
  13. ^ "Rainford-Brent appointed in new Surrey role". European Central Bank. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  14. ^ Mitchell, Alison (9 May 2015). "Cricket: Women's game set for Oval lift-off". BBC. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  15. ^ Surrey CCC Yearbook 2020, p.26
  16. ^ "Ebony Rainford-Brent: 'The game's been shaken up, there's no going back'". The Guardian. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  17. ^ "Rainford-Brent and Ace making progress while cricket awaits damning report". The Guardian. 26 January 2023. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  18. ^ "No. 63377". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2021. p. B16.
  19. ^ "Ebony Rainford-Brent becomes an MBE for services to cricket and charity". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  20. ^ "Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE and Pete Ackerley appointed ECB Non-Executive Directors". www.ecb.co.uk. 6 March 2024. Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  21. ^ "Inspiring figures celebrated at Loughborough University's summer graduation ceremonies with honorary degrees". Loughborough University. 24 July 2023. Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  22. ^ "Beyond Sport". www.beyondsport.org. Retrieved 6 March 2024.

External links[edit]