Swashbuckling South African opener Lizelle Lee announces international retirement

Lizelle Lee, South Africa’s hard-hitting batter, in an astonishing decision to many, has hung her boots from international cricket. However, she’ll continue to play in domestic T20 leagues around the world. In a statement issued by CSA, Lee said, “It is with a lot of mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from international cricket.”


Lizelle Lee in action. PC: Cricket South Africa / Twitter
Lizelle Lee in action. PC: Cricket South Africa / Twitter


She added, “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 has been the highest run-getter for South Africa in T20 Internationals and the second-highest behind Mignon du Preez, who also retired from Tests and ODIs earlier this year, in One-Day Internationals. Lee made her first appearance for the Proteas in 2013 against Bangladesh at home, and made her last ODI appearance against England in the WC semi-final earlier in March. She played exactly 100 ODIs scoring 3315 runs at 36.42 with 23 half-centuries and 3 hundred, the best and last one of which came against India in Lucknow in 2021, where she scored a brilliant 132* and helped South Africa secure a 4-1 series win.

In addition to that, Lee also played 82 T20Is, where she amassed 1896 runs for South Africa, the most, at a healthy SR of 110.61 including a century against Thailand in the 2020 World Cup, becoming only the second SA woman after Shandre Fritz and the first one to do so at T20 World Cups.

“I feel that I am ready for the next phase in my career, and will continue to play domestic T20 cricket around the world.” Lee added.

Lee’s last international appearance was during the one-off test between England and South Africa in June, where she returned scores of 0 & 36. Lee will next be seen for the Manchester Originals in The Hundred this season, having also represented them in the inaugural season in 2021.

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“It has been an incredible journey, and it would not have been possible without everyone who has supported me during my international career,” Lee said.


Lizelle Lee
Lizelle Lee


“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.

“Thank you to CSA, SACA and all stakeholders involved for the opportunities and support you afforded me to make my dreams of playing for the Proteas come true. 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.”

Lee’s retirement means, that South Africa will have to find a new opening partner for Laura Wolvaardt in ODIs, as the duo formed one of the most formidable opening batters in world cricket, having added 2487 runs together at 46.92 with 7 opening stands of more than hundred, the most for their country.

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