Sydney: Australia women’s cricket team vice-captain Alex Blackwell has announced her retirement from international and state cricket with immediate effect, thus calling curtains to her illustrious 15-year career at the age of 34.
The 34-year-old’s decision came just a day after she smashed a quick-fire 76 runs for her state team New South Wales in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL), the domestic 50-overs tournament. Blackwell, however, will continue to lead the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) franchise, Sydney Thunder.
While announcing her retirement, Blackwell said that she feels extremely good to end her career on high, adding that she is now looking forward to other opportunities that lie ahead.
“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,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Blackwell, as saying.
“[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 explained.
Blackwell, who is Australia’s most-capped international player with 251 international appearances, hinted that she might take up coaching or mentoring outside of her WBBL commitments.
“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 a lot to the game so my intention would be to still be involved in some capacity,” she said.
Blackwell finished her 15-year long international career with 5,250 combined runs across three formats and that she was only the fourth Australian to break through the 5000-run mark. Besides having 13 WNCL titles, Blackwell also had a stint as Australian captain as she led the side through the 2009 Women’s World Cup in Sydney while also having an Ashes victory as captain under her belt. Blackwell will take the field for NSW one last time when her side lock horns with Western Australia in the final game of WNCL at Blacktown.