Katherine Brunt retires from Test cricket

Katherine Brunt during Ashes Test 2022 © Getty Images

England pace bowler Katherine Brunt has retired from Test cricket with immediate effect, England and Wales Cricket (ECB) Board said in a press release on Saturday (June 18). The right-arm seamer was part of the last Test match England played when they almost pulled off an improbable win against Australia in Canberra in 2022.

The 36-year-old has played made her Test debut in 2004 and went on to play 14 matches in the format, taking 51 wickets at an average of 21.52. She had three five-wicket hauls from 25 innings. She is the third-leading wicket-taker of England in Test matches. Brunt will continue to play both limited over formats and is expected to take the field in the series against South Africa.

“I feel like as an athlete there is never an obvious time to step away from doing the thing that you love,” Brunt said. “But over the past two years thoughts of retirement have surfaced more and more, so I’ve decided to make a smart decision rather than an emotional one. Test cricket is my absolute passion and to retire from this format was truly a heart-breaking choice to make, but it allows me to prioritise white-ball cricket.”

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In 2005, Brunt helped England retain the Ashes after 42 years when she took nine wickets and also scored a fifty to become the player of the match.

“I know that I leave it in a great place, the bowlers coming through are ready and they’re just itching to be let loose! And with the South Africa game around the corner, I’m very much looking forward to watching them from the best seat in the house.”

Brunt was also part of the England side that won the Ashes in 2009 and she played a significant role in that series win as well. Her best bowling performance in the format came when she took 6 for 69 in a drawn Test at the County Ground in Worcester.

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Jonathan Finch, director of England cricket, lauded Brunt for her contribution to England in Tests and added that the seamer set right example for all her contemporaries and future cricketers to follow.

“Katherine’s passion and commitment was never more evident than when she played Test cricket for England and you only need to watch the last Ashes Test to see her desire, her heart and her undoubted ability with the red ball in hand,” Finch said.

“She has given everything for England Women in Test cricket and we are fully supportive of her decision to focus on white-ball cricket on the international stage. Katherine can leave the red ball behind knowing she is a true legend in that form of the game and that she has set standards that future generations can only aspire to.”

With Anya Shrubsole also announcing her retirement from international cricket, England will have to field a new opening bowling pair when they take the field in the one-off Test against South Africa.