The former England women captain has retired
CHARLOTTE Edwards retires from cricket as England’s most-capped player and captain, a three-times Ashes winner who also led her country to a T20 and World Cup double in 2009.
But ask the 37-year-old which of those memories she cherishes the most and it is not the medals in her drawer or the trophies on her mantelpiece.
Instead, it is what she modestly describes as the ‘small role’ she has played in her three decades at the top level of the women’s game to turn it into the elite professional sport we have before us.
“From a playing point of view, winning the World Cup in 2009 without a shadow of a doubt was the highlight, that was something I had always dreamed of and to do it in Sydney was fantastic,” said Edwards – who announced her retirement after the Southern Vipers defeat in the KSL Final.
“But the more personal highlight for me is all the messages of thanks I have received. Growing up I never had a female role model, I had to look to the male players.
“So to have had parents and kids alike both writing to me and saying that I had a huge influence on them and getting girls to take their first steps in the game, well, that means far more to me than 10,000 international runs ever will.”
Edwards’ retirement will not see her take much of a step back from the game that she loves, indeed she is already on a Level 3 coaching course.
“After the course I will be off to Canada and the USA to do some coaching so there is no rest for me!” she added.
“Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised by that, I am hugely passionate about the game.
“I will also hopefully be doing a bit of coaching in Australia, although nothing has been finalised.
“It has been so busy for me, ever since my international retirement, so it will also be nice to have some time to reflect and spend time with my family and friends.”
From a 16-year-old making her international debut all the way back in 1996 wearing a skirt, Edwards has seen the game come a long way.
“I say it a lot but I really do have to pinch myself sometimes and think: ‘Has this all really happened?’” she added. “From making my debut back in 1996 in a skirt to the professional game we have in front of us now.
“I was there in front of a full house at Lord’s this summer for the World Cup final – and it has been incredible to be there all along the way and to be able to play even just a small part in it is very satisfying.”