Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE

Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE

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Former England Cricketer

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Ebony threw herself into sport as a way of escaping the environment in which her brother was stabbed. She became the first black woman to play cricket for England, retaining the Ashes and winning the World Cup and Twenty20 in a single year. She is now TMS’ first female analyst and Director of Women’s Cricket at Surrey, training and mentoring management and players. Ebony encourages us to challenge ourselves and learn to see through a different lens.


Spotted at a charity cricket day as a youngster with no experience, Ebony overcame a serious back injury to play for one of the most successful England teams in history. They won the 2009 World Cup, the World Twenty20, NatWest One Day Series and retained the Ashes. Ebony was also captain of the Surrey side, leading them to promotion to the top division of the women’s game.

Coming from a poor part of south London, Ebony’s was not a conventional background for a cricketer. She embraced the sport as a route out of an environment that had claimed the life of her brother, who had been stabbed. Her dedication and hard work was her escape, both on the pitch and academically, studying chemistry at University College London. Both sides of her life were threatened, however, by a serious back injury and she had to curtail her studies and was advised to give up all sport. Three years later she was playing for England in India and graduating with a Masters in Chemistry.

Since retiring Ebony has become a regular pundit for the iconic Test Match Special and is the first Director of Women’s Cricket for Surrey CCC, the existence of the position indicative of the growth of the women’s game in recent years. As well as commentating all over the world as part of the TMS team she has appeared on Sky Sports, BBC Breakfast and Newsround. Ebony hosts The Art of Success, a podcast in which Ebony speaks to high performers to understand their winning strategies.

Ebony continues to train and mentor players and management alike, and focuses on peak performance in her speeches. She believes in the importance of making small changes, both mental and physical, in order to force overall change and argues that mindset is key to making those changes. Her Five Fundamentals of Peak Performance have helped her and her colleagues at Surrey reach their potential, and she is a trained performance coach.

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