Australian Vice-captain and the most-capped female player –Alex Blackwell has announced on Monday her retirement from all forms of the game. She is also retired from domestic cricket where she represented New South Wales from 2001 till now.
However, the 34-year-old right-hander will continue to lead Sydney Thunder in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL). Alex made her international debut for Australia in 2003 and has played 251 matches across the Test, One-Day and Twenty20 international formats so far.
While batting in middle order, the batter amassed 5,250 international runs and was also part of Australia's World Cup wins in 2005 and 2013. She also led Australia to the 2010 Women's World T20 triumph and also won the competition in 2012 and 2014.
The New South Wales has won 13 titles in the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL), as well as a 2011 Ashes victory under Alex’s captaincy. Earlier, she wants to play until the next 2021 World Cup, but she felt good to go out on a high now with outstanding 16-year career.
Blackwell told Cricket Australia's website, “I think it's really nice to be able to finish at a time when I feel my game has never felt stronger. I also become increasingly interested and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, that may require my playing days to wrap up. [Retirement] probably creeps into your mind well in advance of the moment. The decision to retire was final in this season, I'm happy about that decision and excited about the opportunities again.”
She further added, “I believe I'll always be involved in cricket in some capacity. To have a career as long as I have, you accumulate many skills and expertise and experiences which you can share. I would hope that's not lot to the game so my intention would be to still be involved in some capacity. I'm setting myself to enjoy this week and prepare the best I can to help keep the Ruth Preddey Trophy in New South Wales."
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said, “Alex has been a wonderful servant to Australian Cricket, and a tremendous leader both at the national and international level, and we congratulate her on an outstanding career that has spanned more than 16 years.”
He further said of Alex, “She was a talented cricketer - a fierce competitor, hard-working and far more often than not, a winner - Alex played an instrumental role in the dominance of both the Australian and New South Wales teams over the last decade. Having reinvented herself in the shorter formats of the game in more recent years, Alex leaves the game as Australia’s most capped female player, having become the first Australian woman to play 200 games for her country, and sitting second and third in terms of runs scored in the T20 and ODI formats for Australia.”
Sutherland signed off by saying, “We are very lucky to have had Alex and her twin sister Kate both represent Australia over a period of time, with the pair playing in many winning teams together at national and state level for New South Wales.”