Birch calls time on England career

England all-rounder Rosalie Birch has retired from international cricket in order to pursue her exciting career with the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to shine campaign.

The 25-year-old, who helped England regain the Ashes in 2005 after a 42-year long wait, decided she is unable to commit to future representative competitions which in turn rules her out of England contention.

Birch, who played 37 ODIs, seven Tests and four Twenty20 internationals, will continue to play for Sussex.

“I am sad to be withdrawing from the England set-up," she said.

Rosalie Birch

Rosalie Birch celebrates an Australian wicket as England retained the Ashes Down Under in February 2008

"It has not been an easy decision to make but I feel the time is right to move on to the next phase of my life. I have had some wonderful experiences with England and I am very proud of what the team has achieved in the years I’ve been involved.

"I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved at a time when women’s cricket is on the up. I have been very well supported by ECB and various individuals, to whom I am very grateful.

"I’m now looking forward to the challenge of my career with the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to shine campaign - a cause I feel very passionately about.”

Clare Connor, Head of England Women's Cricket at the ECB, paid tribute to her former team-mate.

"Rosalie has given a huge amount to England women's cricket in the past six years since she burst on to the scene in 2003 with some sensational performances with bat and ball against South Africa and then New Zealand.

"She has been a superb ambassador for the women's game during these years; always positive, always a team player and always generous with her time over and above the call of duty.

"We wish her every success in her full-time role with Chance to shine and we are delighted that this role will enable her to have a positive influence with our young cricketing stars of the future."

Birch made her England debut six years ago when she took four wickets in the drawn Test with South Africa. She continued that good form in the next match, hitting a career best 62 and taking three wickets as England won by an innings and 96 runs.

The highlight of her Test career, which came two years later, was undoubtedly the Ashes triumph at Hove.

Birch's best performance in one-day cricket came in 2004 when she picked up 5-50 against South Africa, a display which helped earn her selection for the World Cup the following year where England reached the semi-finals.

Since her last international cap 18 months ago, Birch has worked for the Chance to shine campaign. Her new role as Project Manager and PR Officer will be split between managing national projects and assisting with the charity’s PR activities.