England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor has announced her retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, having battled through numerous bouts of anxiety during her illustrious cricket career.
After making her England debut at the age of 17 in 2006, Taylor went on to make 226 appearances for her country, becoming one of the most respected players in the world. Her 232 dismissals across all three formats puts her at the top of the list of dismissals for a wicketkeeper in the women’s game. In 2018, Australia wicketkeeping legend Adam Gilchrist said he thought Taylor was “the best wicketkeeper in the world – male or female”.
Taylor’s anxiety flared up at the back end of the the 2019 Women’s Ashes series, forcing her to withdraw ahead of the three T20Is. Last year she was unable to take part in the 2018 Women’s World T20 in the West Indies due to the ongoing management of her mental health.
“This has been a tough decision but I know it’s the right one, for me and for my health moving forward,” Taylor said. “I can’t thank my teammates enough, both past and present, and the ECB for being supporters and friends along my journey.
“Playing for England and getting to wear the shirt for so long has been a dream come true and I have been blessed with so many great moments throughout my career. From making my debut in 2006, to Ashes wins, and of course the World Cup final at Lord’s, to name just a few.
“To be right in the thick of women’s cricket as it’s gone from strength to strength – not only in England, but across the world – has been an amazing experience, and I can look back on what women’s cricket has achieved with great pride at playing some small part in it.”
Clare Connor, managing director of England Women’s Cricket, said: “Sarah can be immensely proud of everything she has achieved in an England shirt, and of everything she has done for the women’s game.
“She is someone that young people can look up to, for her achievements and talent on the pitch – but also for her bravery and resilience off it. She has come through significant adversity and performed on the world stage for her country … She has become a powerful voice within women’s sport.”
Taylor leaves without regret and is keen to explore a new phase. “I am extremely proud of my career,” she adds. “I leave with my head held high and with excitement for what my future holds and what my next chapter brings.”