Australian veteran Lisa Sthalekar retires from international cricket

Sthalekar, who made her international debut in 2001 in a One Day International against England, went on to play for Australia in eight Tests, 125 ODIs and 54 Women's T20 International matches.

Updated: February 18, 2013 11:50 IST
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Australia's veteran all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar has announced her retirement from international cricket after her team won their sixth World Cup title on Sunday, a Cricket Australia press release said on Monday.

In what turned out to be her last outing in Australia's colours, Sthalekar took 2 for 20 runs and scored 12 batting in the middle order against the West Indies in the victorious final at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. She also wrapped up the win with a fine catch to dismiss the last West Indian batter.

Sthalekar, who made her international debut in 2001 in a One Day International against England, went on to play for Australia in eight Tests, 125 ODIs and 54 Women's T20 International matches.

Over her illustrious career, she contributed with both bat and ball, amassing a total of 416 Test runs, 2728 ODI runs and 769 T20 international runs. With the ball, she has 23 Test wickets, 146 ODI scalps and 60 wickets in T20Is. She was the first woman to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs.

When rankings were introduced, Sthalekar was regarded as the leading all-rounder in the world. The 33-year-old also ended her international career as the number one T20 all-rounder and bowler in the world and holds the number two ranking for ODI all-rounders and bowlers.

The Pune-born Sthalekar was awarded the Belinda Clark Award (formerly named the Australian International Female Cricketer of the Year Award) in 2007 and 2008, the WNCL Player of the Year in 2007/08 and 2011/12 and she was nominated for the ICC Women's Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008 and the ICC Women's T20 Player of the Year in 2012.

Vice-captain of the national side from 2006-09, Sthalekar has been an ICC Women's ODI World-Cup winner in 2005 and 2013 and the ICC Women's World Twenty20 winner in 2010 and 2012.

Sthalekar has also achieved a great deal off the field; in 2011 she was the first woman to be appointed to the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) Executive, while she has also enjoyed stints in the commentary box and released her autobiography last year.

Sthalekar said the decision to retire from international cricket did not come easy.

"To finish my international career by playing in a successful ICC Women's World Cup in the country of my birth is quite special for me," Sthalekar said on Monday.

"I feel that this is the right time for me to retire and I've been fortunate to be able to represent Australia for as long as I have and to have been a part of some very successful teams.

"Women's cricket has changed a lot during my time in the game and it's been an honour to witness this evolution first hand. We have seen at this year's World Cup that the standard of women's cricket across the world has grown immensely in the last few years alone.

"I would like to continue my involvement in all aspects of the game following my retirement. Cricket has given me a great deal during my life and I want to be able to give something back, whether it be through coaching, mentoring or other avenues.

"I am looking forward to the next phase of my life and the opportunity to help women's cricket continue to develop."

National Chair of Selectors Julie Savage said: "Lisa has been a tremendous player for Australia for a number of years and it's fantastic to see her go out at the top of her game with a couple of World Cups under her belt this season. We've seen some tremendous performances that have contributed massively to us achieving those victories in the World Cups," Savage said.

"She's also, through her coaching, contributed to the development of the younger players that are now coming through in our group so, not only is she contributing on the field, but she's also contributing off the field to the success of Australian Cricket.

"Lisa will certainly be missed but through her coaching and development work she's actually helping to fill the void that her retirement will leave. I'd like to congratulate her on behalf of the National Selection Panel on a tremendous career and I wish her all the best for her future."

Sthalekar will make a decision about her future at state level at a later date.

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