Char­lotte Edwards

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Charlie Tal­bot-Smith

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.”

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