South Africa's Lizelle Lee announces retirement from international cricket

The explosive opener represented the Proteas in 184 international matches where she went on to amass  5253 runs across formats.

Lizelle Lee
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Lizelle Lee. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy-ICC/ICC via Getty Images )
Karthik Nair
KARTHIK NAIR

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South African cricketer Lizelle Lee has announced her retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. She confirmed the same via her official social media handles on Friday, July 8. The explosive opener represented the Proteas in 184 international matches where she went on to amass  5253 runs across formats including four centuries.

Lee decided to bring curtains down on her cricketing career ahead of the upcoming three-match ODI series against England that gets underway on Monday, July 11 in Northampton. She was an integral part of the South African squad that had played in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 earlier this year where they finished as the semi-finalists going down to the eventual runners-up England.

It is with a lot of mixed emotions that I announce my retirement: Lizelle Lee

“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. Over the past 8 years I was able to live that dream and I feel I have given everything I could to the Proteas,” Lee said in an official statement released by Cricket South Africa.

“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,” she added.

“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”, the statement further read.

“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.

Lee’s retirement comes as yet another setback for the Proteas women after one of their star cricketers Mignon du Preez announced her retirement from Tests and One Day Internationals in April. However, du Preez will be available for selection in the T20Is.

Meanwhile, the South African women’s team have also found themselves in a fix after this shocking retirement heading into the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham this year. The ‘Rainbow Nation’ is one of eight participants in the women’s cricket T20 competition.

Coming back to Lizelle’s international career, it can be argued that the 30-year-old has bid adieu to the game at the peak of her career, having won the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award in January this year.