London: Jul 9, 2011
England cricketer Claire Taylor, the first woman to be named as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year, retired from international cricket on Friday.
The 35-year-old batsman made her announcement a day after helping England beat Australia by 34 runs to win the women's quadrangular one-day series. Taylor played in 15 Tests, 126 one-day internationals and 27 Twenty20 matches during her 14-year England career.
Her most successful year was in 2009 when England won the World Cup and she was named player of the tournament for her 324 runs at 64.80.
Taylor, whose unbeaten 156 against India in 2006 remains the highest one-day international score by a player of either sex at Lord's, said: "It's the right time mentally and physically for me to step away from the international game.
"Fitting in all the training amid an ever busier working life is becoming unsustainable," added Taylor, a management consultant. "There just don't seem to be enough hours in the week. Physically I seem to need to spend more and more time in the gym recovering from injuries rather than training to get fitter. I'm getting old, I guess. The squad I'm leaving has huge potential over the next couple of years and I wish them well for the future."
Clare Connor, the head of England women's cricket and a former England captain, said: "Claire has earned the respect of all who have played with her, against her, or who have had the pleasure of watching her.
"Her tour de force was her 76 not out from 53 balls against Australia at The Oval to secure England a place in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009. The power, precision and clinical nature of that innings delivered a message on the biggest stage as to the enormous progress made in the women's game,"she said.
Taylor is the third leading female cricketer to announce her retirement in recent days, following Australia all-rounder Shelley Nitschke and New Zealand captain Aimee Watkins.