Anya Shrubsole on her international retirement: ‘It is time for me to step away’

England
ICC Women's World Cup

Anya Shrubsole, so instrumental in helping England win the 2017 World Cup, admitted women’s cricket is “moving forward faster than I can keep up with” as she announced her international retirement.

Shrubsole took 227 wickets in 173 matches in all formats in a distinguished 14-year career for England where she was part of two Ashes-winning sides and hoisted aloft the 50-over World Cup in 2009 and 2017.

Her finest hour undoubtedly came at Lord’s in the 2017 World Cup final against India, which was in the balance before she tipped the scales decisively in England’s favour with stellar figures of six for 46.

As well as collecting player of the match, she finished the tournament as England’s leading wicket-taker with 12 dismissals and earlier hit the winning runs in a tense semi-final against South Africa.

The time is right for Anya Shrubsole to call it a day

The 30-year-old took nine wickets in eight matches in England’s defence of the title, including another star turn in the final but her three for 46 was in vain as Australia regained the trophy two weeks ago.

While she now bows out of England duty, the seam bowler will continue to play domestic cricket in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Charlotte Edwards Cup and The Hundred, where she captains Southern Brave.

“I feel immensely privileged to have been able to represent my country for the past 14 years,” said Shrubsole, the first woman to grace the front cover of the prestigious Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

“To have been involved in women’s cricket at a time of such growth has been an honour but it has become clear to me that it is moving forward faster than I can keep up with, so it is time for me to step away.

England players celebrate with match-winner Anya Shrubsole in the 2017 final
England players celebrate with match-winner Anya Shrubsole in the 2017 final (John Walton/PA)

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be lucky enough to play for England for so long, I’d have been happy with one game.

“There have been many ups and downs along the way but it was all worth it to be able to lift the ICC Women’s World Cup at Lord’s in 2017.”

Shrubsole retires as England’s leading Twenty20 wicket-taker with 102 dismissals while she is fourth in the country’s all-time list in one-day internationals, having taken 106 scalps at an average of 26.53.

She memorably took a hat-trick at the 2018 T20 World Cup against South Africa before England were again denied by Australia in the final, but the legacy she leaves was hailed by Clare Connor.

Deserved plaudits

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s managing director of women’s cricket said: “Anya has been the most tremendous servant to English cricket, and to women’s cricket specifically.

“For 14 years she has given everything for the team so it is fitting that her reasons for retiring are so selfless.

“In her last game for England – the ICC Women’s World Cup final in Christchurch – Anya was the team’s stand-out performer with the ball, just as she was on that magical day at Lord’s in 2017 when England women lifted the World Cup.

“Her longevity, skill and impact with the new and old ball are testament to her work ethic and commitment over so many years.

“Aside from her genius with the ball, Anya was the perfect team-mate – selfless, dedicated, thoughtful and kind. She has already dedicated 14 years to England Women’s cricket and I know that she will continue to have a huge impact on the game post-playing.

“Anya loves the game as much as anyone I’ve ever met and we look forward to retaining her expertise and passion as she embarks on her next chapter.”

Charlotte Edwards, who captained Shrubsole in her first international match against South Africa at Shenley in August 2008 and is now head coach at Southern Brave, led the tributes to the bowler.

She wrote on Twitter: “What a wonderful International career @Anya_shrubsole. Debut in Shenley 2008 to the highs of Lords in 2017. Thank you.”

England captain Heather Knight, who led the side at the 2017 World Cup, tweeted: “Congrats on a remarkable career Hoof. It’s been a pleasure sharing a field with you! I’ll miss your boomerangs, your bunts through the covers and your wise words. Good luck with the next chapter!”

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