South African star Shabnim Ismail announces retirement

South African cricketer Shabnim Ismail has announced her retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. The 34-year-old, widely regarded as the fastest bowler in women’s cricket, has decided to move on from international cricket to focus on playing T20 domestic cricket worldwide. Ismail’s retirement comes after 16 years of representing South Africa at the highest level of the sport.

Shabnim Ismail during Women's ODI World Cup 2022. PC: Getty Images
Shabnim Ismail during Women’s ODI World Cup 2022. PC: Getty Images

In a statement, Ismail cited wanting to spend more time with her family, particularly her siblings, and parents as they get older, as one of the reasons for her decision to retire from international cricket. She said that as an athlete, training and competing at the highest level requires much sacrifice and dedication, and she now wants to devote more time to her family.

Ismail’s final game for South Africa came in the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup against Australia. The speedster picked up eight wickets at an average of 16.12 in South Africa’s maiden appearance in the final of a World Cup event. Over her international career, Ismail played in 127 ODIs, 113 T20Is, and a solitary Test, taking 317 wickets.

Ismail’s retirement marks the end of an illustrious international career that saw her become one of the most feared bowlers in the women’s game. In addition to being known for her rapid pace, Ismail also holds the joint record for the most Women’s ODI wickets taken in a single calendar year, with 37 wickets in 2022. This included 14 wickets in the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

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As Ismail reflects on her international career, she says she is grateful for all the opportunities and experiences she has had, and that the memories will stay with her forever. She also expressed pride in being part of a wonderful group of players who have led the way for women in cricket.

Cricket South Africa Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe praised Ismail as a fierce competitor with the ability to make any batter uncomfortable at the crease with her rapid pace that regularly surpassed 120kph throughout her career. He also said that Ismail will be sorely missed by the team and all South African cricket fans as she continues to inspire the next generation of cricketers during her remaining domestic career in all parts of the globe.

In conclusion, Shabnim Ismail’s retirement from international cricket marks the end of an incredible career that made her one of the most feared bowlers in women’s cricket. Her dedication, sacrifice, and passion for the sport have inspired countless young cricketers worldwide, and she will be sorely missed by fans and teammates alike.

Sports have always been a huge part of my life, and having played cricket professionally for my state team, I gained a deeper understanding of what it takes to succeed in the world of sports. With an eye for detail and passion for sports, I’m hoping to make a lasting impact in the sports industry.

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