England cricket: Katherine Sciver-Brunt announces retirement from international cricket

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Katherine Sciver-Brunt took 335 wickets in her international career

England’s leading female wicket-taker, Katherine Sciver-Brunt, has announced she has retired from international cricket. Arguably one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Sciver-Brunt said that playing for England ‘saved her life’.

The 37-year-old has announced the decision before another Ashes series with England hoping to regain the precious urn this summer. Sciver-Brunt is England’s leading wicket-taker with 335 wickets to her name and only India’s Jhulan Goswami has taken more in women’s internationals with 355 to her name. In her 19-year career, Sciver-Brunt has won the Ashes three times, twice won the 50-over World Cup and in 2009 won the T20 World Cup.

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Sciver-Brunt ended her Test career early last year but has now taken the final steps to move away from all formats of the international game. She will, however, be playing one more season in The Hundred with Trent Rockets.

As England celebrates the glittering career of one of their best, here is all you need to know about Katherine Sciver-Brunt...

Who is Katherine Sciver-Brunt?

Born in Barnsley in 1985, Brunt first started playing cricket in the Yorkshire age group sides. She was selected to represent England in 2004 for the Test against New Zealand and was then named as a member of the 2005 England World Cup squad in South Africa.

She took 14 wickets and scored her maiden half century as England won the 2005 Ashes and went on to open the bowling in England’s 2009 World Cup campaign. The 2005 Ashes win was the first time England had beaten Australia in the multi-format tournament for 42 years.

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Katherine Sciver-Brunt celebrates the wicket of Meg Lanning in 2019Katherine Sciver-Brunt celebrates the wicket of Meg Lanning in 2019
Katherine Sciver-Brunt celebrates the wicket of Meg Lanning in 2019 | Getty Images

In her 14 Test matches, Sciver-Brunt has taken 51 wickets and in WODI’s she has 170 to her name. In 112 WT20s, the fast bowler known for her out-swingers has 114 wickets. Her best figures came in the 2011 NatWest Women’s Quadrangular series where she took 5/18 as England took victory over Australia. Sciver-Brunt was awarded a full central contract by the ECB in 2019 and later that year, she took her 150th WODI wicket as England played Pakistan in Malaysia.

Domestically, the pace bowler has played for Perth Scorchers (WBBL), Yorkshire Diamonds (now known as Northern Diamonds) the Melbourne Stars and Trent Rockets.

‘Brunty’ or ‘Nunny’ married fellow England cricketer Nat Sciver in May 2022 after announcing their engagement in October 2019. Both changed their names to Sciver-Brunt and announced they would go by the full name in all cricket-related instances.

What has been said?

Speaking to BBC Sport, the England cricket icon said: “I’m proud of the last 19 years and I’m proud of who I am now. It’s been special. “It’s definitely the right time and I’m definitely happy with the decision I’ve made.

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“I feel like I’ve been thinking about it forever, not so much from a love perspective, but from a body perspective and if I am still giving the best I can for England. My mind has slipped in the past six to eight months, where I have felt I haven’t been able to give 100% of myself.

“It was so, so hard, because I love Ashes series more than anything,” she said. “You can’t explain it and you can’t replicate it. When you’re right in the heat of it, it’s great. Even when we’re losing, it’s great. “As you get older, you can only spread yourself so thin. Some things have got to give and some people are saying goodbye to international cricket.

The fast bowler has also spoken about how her relationship with Nat Sciver-Brunt has prolonged her career and how the relationship has changed her having grown up in a strict Christian family where she was brought up believing gay was “wrong, disgusting and shameful.”

Now, however, Katherine says she does not have the “emotional capacity” to describe what playing for England meant but does feel it has “saved her life. It has created an amazing life I could only have dreamed of,” she said. “I love it. It was everything I needed to be who I am today. I feel very lucky and privileged to have led the life I have.”

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