England’s women cricket team won the BBC Team of the Year Award following their remarkable win over India in the World Cup that was played under home conditions. In a thrilling final played at the Lord’s, England beat India by nine runs. The tournament drew plenty of attention with wide coverage on TV and was attended in numbers.
Batting first, England scored 228/7 in the 50 overs. In reply, India looked to be in comfortable place before surrendering late on to fall for 219 runs. Punam Raut scored 86 while Harmanpreet Kaur chipped in with 51 runs to bring India close but the middle to lower order collapsed miserably to hand England the win.
Elsewhere, the biggest prize on the night went to Britain’s Olympic and world champion Mo Farah who won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. The distance runner, who won his sixth World Championships gold medal in London this year when he triumphed in the 10,000 metres, was named as the winner ahead of second-placed superbike rider Jonathan Rea and par athlete Jonnie Peacock. Other nominees and pre-event favourites, world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua and Formula One world title holder Lewis Hamilton failed to make the top three.
Farah, born in Somalia and moved to Britain at the age of eight, won 5,000m and 10,000m gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as well as six world titles in those distances. The 34-year-old ended his track career this year to concentrate on road running, received the trophy from his step-daughter Rihanna in a studio in London. However, his attempt at sharing his speech was interrupted when BBC’s live satellite link to the Echo Arena in Liverpool cut out seconds later.
After the live broadcast went off air, Farah appeared close to tears and spoke to those inside the arena saying he was shocked to win the award. “It is pretty amazing and hard to think about. I didn’t imagine I was every going to win this but… anything can happen. If you work hard you can achieve your dreams.”