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Momentum Proteas star batter Lizelle Lee retires from international cricket

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
SA batter Lizelle Lee during during the 2022 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup match against Pakistan at Bay Oval on March 11 2022 in Tauranga, New Zealand.
SA batter Lizelle Lee during during the 2022 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup match against Pakistan at Bay Oval on March 11 2022 in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Image: Fiona Goodall-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

Momentum Proteas star opening batter Lizelle Lee has decided to hang up her bat from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect.

Lee, who was the 2021 ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year, made the announcement before the team’s three-match ODI series against England which gets under way on Monday in Northampton.

The 30-year-old made her international bow for SA in 2013 during the T20 inbound tour against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom and received her first ODI cap a week later in the same series.

In the 50 over game the opening batter amassed 3,315 runs in 100 matches, including 23 half centuries and three centuries, with a career-best score of 132 not out against India in Lucknow in March last year.

In the shorter format, Lee played 82 games where she recorded 1,896 runs while notching up 13 50s and one century against Thailand in 2020 to become the second SA woman to reach triple figures in T20s.

The Senwes Dragons star leaves the international stage in first place on the run scorer’s list in T20 for SA while she comes second to the recently retired Mignon du Preez in the ODI format.

“It is with a lot of mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from international cricket,” she said.

“From a very young age, I have lived cricket and wanted to represent my country at the highest level. Over the past eight years I was able to live that dream and I feel I have given everything I could to the Proteas.

“I feel I am ready for the next phase in my career and will continue to play domestic T20 cricket around the world. It has been an incredible journey and it would not have been possible without everyone who has supported me during my international career.

“I want to thank my family, especially my wife Tanja, for all the sacrifices they have made for me to live out my dream to represent my country. Thank you to CSA, Saca and all stakeholders involved for the opportunities and support you afforded me to make my dreams of playing for the Proteas come true.

“My fellow Proteas teammates, thank you for the wonderful memories we have made together. You have made this journey incredible and I could not have done this without you. I will always be supporting you; we will always be rising together.

“Lastly to my fans, I am the person I am because of the love and support you have given me throughout my international career. I look forward to continuing this journey with you in the different leagues around the world,” she concluded.

CSA director of cricket Enoch Nkwe said: “It is with great sadness that we have to bid farewell to a titan of SA cricket at a relatively young age. However, we wholeheartedly respect the individual’s decision and her desire to move on to the next chapter of her playing career.

“Lizelle has given this nation countless memorable moments on the field of play, most notably in 2021 when she was leading from the front with the bat towards being named the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year in an effort to help SA soar to second place on the ICC ODI Rankings.

“We wish her and her young family nothing but the best from here onwards,” added Nkwe.

“On behalf of Cricket SA, I’d like to thank Lizelle for her more than eight years of service for the Proteas and wish her all the very best for all her future endeavours, including her ongoing domestic career at home and all around the world,” said CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki.

“Her explosive batting and all-round talents at the highest level of the game will be sorely missed by all in the international cricketing fraternity and by the SA public. The legacy she has left behind will be felt for many a year yet,” he said.

TimesLIVE


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