Fields retires from international cricket
Jodie Fields, the Australia captain, has announced her retirement from international cricket at the age of 29. Fields, who led her country to the 2013 Women's World Cup and the 2012 Women's World T20 titles, will finish her career having captained Australia in 58 international matches - equal second on the all-time list with Karen Rolton, behind Belinda Clark on 113.
Fields succeeded Rolton as captain in 2009 and in her first Test match in charge, she scored her maiden Test hundred, 139 against England. She will leave the game with 1162 runs at 28.34 and 76 wicketkeeping dismissals from her 67 one-day internationals, as well as 249 runs at 22.63 and 40 dismissals from her 37 T20 internationals.
However, her career was interrupted by injury when she tore her hamstring off the bone while batting a domestic match in 2010. After a lengthy recovery period her hopes of returning for the World T20 in the West Indies that year were thwarted by another unfortunate injury, this time when she slipped on wet concrete, and she was unable to take part in Australia's successful campaign.
"It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to represent my country," Fields said. "I feel that this is the right time for me to retire from international cricket. I've been really lucky and proud to be able to represent Australia for as long as I have and to have been a part of some amazing and successful teams.
"There is nothing I loved more than pulling on my Australian jersey and running onto the field with my teammates. The friendships and memories will stay with me forever. No doubt the highlights of my international career were captaining the side to two World Cup wins within the space of six months and I particularly enjoyed the challenges of Test cricket.
"Cricket has changed a lot since I first played for Australia. The women's game is bigger and better than it has ever been and I hope that more and more girls continue to take up the game.
Fields made her international debut in February 2006, having first played for Queensland in the WNCL in November 2001, at the age of 17. She intends to play on for Queensland despite stepping down from international duties.
"I'd like to congratulate Jodie on a successful international career and thank her for her immense contribution to women's cricket at all levels of the game," the Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards said. "Jodie has been a passionate and committed member of the Southern Stars for eight years, and as a dual World Cup winning captain, she sits in elite company in the history of Australian cricket.
"Two of my highlights as CA chairman have been watching Jodie lead team to the 2013 Women's World Cup in India and 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. Jodie's on-field achievements are a testament to her exemplary work ethic off the field and the Southern Stars' sustained success over the years, which have inspired many talented young females across the country to watch and play cricket."