Cricket-South Africa fast bowler Ismail ends international career

FILE PHOTO: Cricket – ICC Women’s Cricket T20 World Cup – Final – South Africa v Australia – Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa – February 26, 2023 South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail reacts REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Fast bowler Shabnim Ismail has announced her retirement from international cricket, a further blow for recent Twenty20 World Cup finalists South Africa who had relied heavily on the pace and guile of the quickest bowler in the women’s game.

Ismail, 34, played in 241 international matches across one-day Internationals, Twenty20s and tests, and last appeared in February’s World Cup final loss to Australia at Newlands.

She broke the record for the fastest ball recorded in women’s cricket during that tournament when she was clocked at 128 kph (80 mph) against England in the semi-finals.

FILE PHOTO: Commonwealth Games – Women’s Cricket T20 – Group B – New Zealand v South Africa – Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham, Britain – July 30, 2022 South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail reacts REUTERS/Phil Noble

“After 16 years proudly representing my country, I have come to the difficult decision to retire from international cricket and move on to the next chapter of my life,” Ismail said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I really believe that reducing the amount of cricket I play will enable me to do this, and playing in global leagues is the only way I see to be able to fit in both family and cricket.”

Ismail’s 191 wickets in ODIs is second only to India’s Jhulan Goswami (255) on the all-time list.

Her retirement follows that of a trio of South African stalwarts from the last 15 years in former captains Dane van Niekerk and Mignon du Preez, and batter Lizelle Lee.



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