England’s women cricket captain Charlotte Edwards has announced her retirement from cricket with immediate effect.
The 36-year-old batsman made her international debut as a 16-year-old in 1996, and over the following two decades has made more international appearances than any other female cricketer in history, amassing 23 Test Match caps, 191 ODI caps and 95 T20I caps.With 5,992 runs Edwatds is the all-time leading ODI run-scorer in women’s cricket, and has scored more T20I runs with 2,605 than any other player in the world, male or female.England captain in 2006, Edwards has led her country 220 times, taking the team to ICC Women’s World Cup and ICC World T20 glory in 2009 and winning the Women’s Ashes three times as captain – in England in 2013 and in Australia in 2008 and 2014. In 2008 Edwards won the ICC Women’s Player of the Year award, in 2014 she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and she became only the second woman ever to be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year and the first female to be nominated for the ICC LG People’s Choice Award.
Edwards said: “Everyone who knows me, and how much I love playing for England, will appreciate what a difficult decision it has been for me to retire from international cricket.”It’s a decision I’ve reached after much thought and detailed discussion with Mark Robinson and Clare Connor about what is best for the team going forward.“I have given 20 years to playing for England and I leave very proud of the standing in which the women’s game is held and of my contribution as a player and captain.”As a 16-year-old girl making my debut for England, I couldn’t have dreamt that I would have had such an amazing time with so much success. I’ve travelled the world, won World Cups and Ashes series and shared it all with some of my closest friends.“However, nothing lasts forever. I believe now is the right time for a new captain to lead the team forward and for young players to be given more opportunities to make their mark on the international game. “After honest and open discussions with Mark, it became clear that he wants to build a new team and I fully support that. I would have loved to have carried on and whilst I am disappointed that I won’t be doing so, I fully understand and respect what Mark is looking to do.”This is a new era and he wants other players to come to the fore to build a strong team.” She added: “20 years is a long time and so I have many people to thank: my family, my friends, every single coach who has helped me get better during my career, all the support staff and my England team mates over the last two decades.
“They are all special to me and I couldn’t have achieved even half of what I have without them. I also want to thank everyone at the ECB for all their support and guidance over the years, and to the incredible fan base that has grown for the England women’s team throughout my career. “Aside from the team’s successes and my own personal record, I am most proud of where the women’s game is now. I have loved working with the ECB off the pitch to break new ground and to build a better future for the sport, and I hope to continue to play a role in this moving forwards.”
Director of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, added: “It is impossible to quantify Charlotte’s contribution to England women’s cricket in a few words, so great has her influence and inspiration been as a leader, and so prolific her record as a batsman.”She is an impeccable role model for our sport and, indeed, for all women in sport. She has given everything to playing cricket for England and the game will forever owe her a huge debt of gratitude. “I wish her every success and happiness as she embarks on the next stage of her life.”
Kent Cricket CEO Jamie Clifford said: “Lottie has been a beacon for the women’s game in its move to the professional era. Her playing record speaks for itself and off the field, she has been a fine ambassador for women’s cricket and sport, sharing her passion for the game and breaking down barriers to participation.”She has inspired a new generation of young cricketers and we are seeing the results at Kent with six England internationals and two under-19 internationals in our six-time County Championship-winning squad.”
Edwards will continue to play domestic cricket, captaining the Southern Vipers in the inaugural Kia Super League this summer alongside leading Kent in the Royal London Women’s One-Day Championship.