Ending a 20-year-long stellar career, England women’s team skipper Charlotte Edwards on Wednesday announced her retirement from international cricket.
The 36-year-old batswoman, who made her debut in 1996, is the all-time leading run-scorer in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) with 5,992 runs from 191 matches. She has an even more phenomenal T20 International record with 2,605 runs from 95 games, more than any other player in the world (man or woman).
Appointed captain in 2006, Edwards has led her country on 220 occasions, taking the team to ICC Women’s World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 glory in 2009, alongside winning the Women’s Ashes three times as captain — once in England (2013) and twice in Australia (2008 and 2014).
“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,” Edwards, who is only the second woman ever to be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, said in a statement.
“It’s a decision I’ve reached after much thought and detailed discussion with (head coach) 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.
“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.”
Charlotte also revealed that she found herself out of place in head coach Mark Robinson’s future scheme of things.
“After honest and open discussions with Mark, it became clear that he wants to build a new team and I fully support that,” she revealed.
“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.”
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison hailed the right-handed batter’s as an inspiration for numerous women across the globe.
“Charlotte Edwards has been at the heart of the England women’s team and a major force in international women’s cricket for two decades. Her outstanding achievements in the game during that time are unrivalled, and in many aspects, are unlikely to ever be surpassed,” Harrison said.
Australia skipper Meg Lanning took to Twitter to congratulate Charlotte on her brilliant career.
“Congrats @Lottie2323 on an incredible international career. A legend of the game!” Meg wrote.
Charlotte 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.