Pearson announces retirement

Lucy Pearson

Talismanic opening bowler Lucy Pearson © Getty Images

England Women's opening bowler Lucy Pearson has announced her decision to retire from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.

33-year old Pearson, who also teaches English at Solihull School has enjoyed an illustrious international career since making her debut in 1996 against New Zealand and has been England’s leading wicket-taker in recent years.

She became only the second woman in over 70 years of Test cricket - and the first for nearly 50 years - to take 11 wickets in a Test against Australia at The Bankstown Oval in February 2003 with 7-51 in the first innings and finishing on 11-107 for the Test.

Lucy twice won Vodafone Player of the Year taking the inaugural award for women in 2000 and again in 2003. She has been nominated again this year.

Lucy finished the recent World Cup, where England reached the semi-finals, as one of the competitions leading bowlers with an average of 14.8 and economy rate of 2.61.

Her final international career statistics are astounding. In 12 Test matches, she had an average of 29.36 and an incredible economy rate of 2.4 with a best bowling innings of 7-51.

In the other form of the game, her best figures are an amazing 3-14, finishing with an average of 22.97 and an economy rate of 3.09.

A recurrence of a stress injury in her left ankle meant she was unable to take part in the semi-final which saw England beaten by tournament winners, Australia.

England coach Richard Bates said: “Lucy has been a vital part of the England squad for the past few years, spearheading the bowling attack. As one of the top ranked bowlers in women’s cricket it goes without saying that she will be sorely missed.

"As well as the impact of her own performances Lucy has been a fantastic influence and a great help to our younger bowlers, passing on her vast experience which I’m sure has played a part in our recent series victories over South Africa home and away, and New Zealand at home.

Lucy Pearson

Lucy Pearson was an integral part of the England set-up

"Lucy has been an influential character in the dressing room and the girls will be sad to see her go but I’m sure they will appreciate that the time is right for her.

"Knowing Lucy she will be right behind the girls in the summer and lending her support from the sidelines.”

England captain Clare Connor said: “Lucy has been an incredible asset to the England team, both on and off the pitch.

"She is a hugely popular member of the team and she will be missed by us all, both for her record-breaking bowling and her fantastic humour!

"As a senior player she has been a massive support to me and has helped develop younger bowlers like Jenny Gunn and Isa Guha.

"I will always remember her steaming in against Australia at Sydney in The Ashes in 2003, taking the record and exposing the weaknesses in the Australia batting line-up which no-one had seen for such a long time.

"She took quick bowling in the women’s game to a completely new level. I have no doubt she will be equally successful in her teaching career and we all wish her well and thank her for her massive achievements in the past nine years.”