The selfless England women's cricket team captain retired only for the betterment of the team © Getty Images
The selfless England women’s cricket team captain retired only for the betterment of the team © Getty Images

Charlotte Edwards announced her international retirement, bringing an end to a 20-year career, in which she captained England for ten and became one of the most influential women in British sport.  Edwards, who will continue playing at domestic level including the forthcoming first edition of the Women’s Super League, took the decision following England’s 2016 World T20 campaign, where they went out in the semi-finals against Australia. Her retirement marks the end of an era. Not only has Edwards set a host of records (no woman has scored more ODI or T20I runs and won just about every series available- the World T20, the World Cup and the Ashes five times) but she has been at the forefront of the move into professionalism and modernity.

According to the ESPNcricinfo, she admitted to the fact that the decision to remove her as captain was no surprise. But she retained hopes of playing in the World Cup, to be played in England next year. Robinson, the coach for six months now, assured that nothing seemed to grow in her shade.  She revealed after her retirement that, “I was comfortable with the captaincy decision as I know we under-performed over the last two years and I knew there would be questions about that. I was more than happy to step down as captain. But I’m really happy where my game is at. There was a real hunger to carry on as a player. But it’s not to be. It has come as a big shock to me.” Robinson only informed Edwards that she would not considered for the next three series. Relatively low-profile encounters against Pakistan (at home) and then Sri Lanka and West Indies (both away) offered, he believed, a chance for the team to rebuild. While Edwards’ talent and good intentions are not in question, her status in the game is such that her very presence might be seen to intimidate the younger players or the new captain. According to the coach, they might flourish more in an environment without their revered former leader.

“Mark spoke to me quite honestly and told me how he saw the next series as an opportunity to develop players and take the team in a new direction,” Edwards said. “He said the girls are hiding behind me sometimes and that they needed to develop. We have a number of younger batters who have not shown their potential at that level. Mark sees the next couple of series as an opportunity to give them a chance with a new captain as well. He thinks there is not a place for me in the team. With all that in mind I did not seem to feature in the immediate plans, I went away had a big think about things. I knew I had a decision to make. For me to get closure and the team to move on, which is the most important thing, the decision had to be made. It is poor timing for me but right timing for the team. They are the most important people right now”, quoted the selfless player who served the team in all situations and stood out for them more often than not.