Lizelle Lee calls time on her professional career
Lizelle Lee retires from international cricket
South Africa’s hard hitting batter Lizelle Lee, announced her retirement from international cricket on Friday (July 8). Prior to South Africa's three-match ODI series against England, which is scheduled to start on July 11, the news was made.
The 30-year-old said she would continue to be eligible to participate in international T20 tournaments after being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2021.
In a T20I home series against Bangladesh in 2013, Lee made her international debut. Since then, she has played for South Africa in two tests, 100 ODIs, and 82 T20Is, hitting 42, 3315, and 1896 runs, respectively. She ranks 17th overall and is the second-highest run-getter in ODIs, after Mignon du Preez. She usually bats as the opener and has three centuries and 23 fifty-sevens.
She has one century and thirteen fifties in T20Is. She ranks 15th overall and first among South African women in terms of her batting statistics in the shortest format. She played in 19 ODIs and 20 T20Is while also serving as the wicketkeeper.
"It is with a lot of mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from international cricket. From a very young age, I have lived cricket and wanted to represent my country at the highest level," Lee said in a statement. "Over the past 8 years I was able to live that dream and I feel I have given everything I could to the Proteas.
"I feel that 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.
Director of Cricket, Enoch Nkwe, said, "It is with great sadness that we have to bid farewell to a titan of South African cricket at a relatively young age, however we wholeheartedly respect the individual's decision and her desire to move onto 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 South Africa soar to second place on the ICC ODI Rankings."
Pholetsi Moseki, Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive Officer, further added, "On behalf of Cricket South Africa (CSA), 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.
"Her explosive batting and her all-round talents at the highest level of the game will be sorely missed by all in the international cricketing fraternity and by the South African public. The legacy she has left behind will be felt for many a year yet."
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