South Africa opening batter Lizelle Lee has announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect. This news comes ahead of the upcoming three-match ODI series against England, getting underway from Monday, 11 July in Northampton. The 30-year-old made her international bow for South Africa in 2013 during the inbound tour against Bangladesh, debuting in T20I cricket at her home ground in Potchefstroom before receiving her first cap in ODI cricket a week later.
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 for the green and gold, recording 1 896 runs, while notching up 13 fifties and one hundred against Thailand in 2020, which made her only the second South African woman to reach triple figures in T20Is.
The Senwes Dragons star leaves the international stage in first place on the runs-scorer’s list in T20I cricket for South Africa, while she only comes second to the recently retired Mignon du Preez in the One-Day format.
“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.
Further talking about her retirement, she said: “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.
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