Lizelle Lee hints at potential reason for early retirement

Lizelle Lee has called time on a storied career. © Getty Images

Lizelle Lee has hinted at the potential reason for her early retirement by stating that Cricket South Africa threatened to not give her an NOC to take part in The Hundred later this year.

The accusation was denied by South Africa’s head coach Hilton Moreeng as well as CSA. Lee put out a tweet stating the same.

When asked to comment on Lee’s claims, Moreeng said, “No comment, I was not aware of that.” Lee had announced her surprise retirement from international cricket on July 8, just before the ODI leg of their England tour. She is South Africa’s leading run getter in T20Is and second-highest run getter in ODIs.

Moreeng, did however say that he didn’t see Lee’s retirement coming. “The retirement came as a shock for everyone. It’s not anything anyone expected to happen, especially on a tour that we were looking forward to. It caught everyone by surprise,” he said.

He then praised Lee for her achievements. “She’s enjoyed it and we also enjoyed having her as a player, the players have enjoyed having her as a team-mate and she had an incredible career. At the end of the day, we need to respect the player’s decision, although it is tough on everyone, because we didn’t foresee it was going to happen so quickly. We knew that one of these days it’s going to happen and now it’s for us to respect it and just give her some space. She’s made her decision. We thank her for the time she has given to the Proteas and she will always be remembered as one of those that played incredible cricket for the country,” he said.
Moreeng also said that it will be difficult to replace a player of Lee’s quality. “To try and replace Lizelle is not something that can happen overnight. There are players that are capable and they can still take the game forward but they need to be scoring consistently. Lizelle is not a player you can replace overnight because of how explosive and dynamic she was. In the future, hopefully, we will find a similar player who can go out and be as explosive as her.”
CSA issued a statement on Monday evening stating, “CSA has however noted recent media reports, making reference to Lee’s retirement, which are devoid of truth, fact or sanction from either CSA nor Lee. Consequently, CSA distances itself from such reports, reaffirms the integrity of the media release issued on 08 July 2022 and confirms that no other communication was issued regarding Lee’s retirement by both parties. The comments made in the media regarding this are therefore unfortunate, regrettable, and discredited.”