Women's World Cup 2009

Sampson retires from cricket at 23

Jenny Roesler in Sydney

March 22, 2009

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Emma Sampson takes a catch to dismiss New Zealand captain Haidee Tiffen for 10, Australia v New Zealand, women's Twenty20, Gardens Oval, Darwin, July 19, 2007
Emma Sampson: " I don't want to go on playing just because I don't think my heart will be in it just as much as the rest of the girls" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Leonie Coleman | Emma Sampson
Series/Tournaments: ICC Women's World Cup
Teams: Australia

Australia's opening bowler Emma Sampson has shocked the cricket world by retiring at the age of 23. She plans to go travelling for an unspecified amount of time and confirmed it was not related to Australia's under-par World Cup campaign.

Sampson, who has no immediate plans to come back to cricket, said that even though the World Twenty20 was around the corner - with all its promise of increased exposure - and then the Ashes, her heart wasn't in it at the moment.

"I decided to retire because I am going to travel and work overseas for an unknown period of time," she told Cricinfo as she watched the World Cup final at North Sydney Oval. Asked if she would consider coming back, she said: "I'm not going to say yes or no because I'm not really sure. I'd been thinking about it for a little while. Obviously I was hoping to finish this tour on a pretty big high. But that's okay, I still had a good time on tour."

Looking relaxed and content with her decision, she added: "I don't want to go on playing just because I don't think my heart will be in it just as much as the rest of the girls. So the best thing for me and the team was to retire now."

Sampson has played in the Ashes and against all of the top women's sides and has no regrets about calling time on her career which included 30 ODIs, a Test and five Twenty20s. Her best analysis was 5 for 30 against New Zealand in 2008.

Leonie Coleman had also retired, although her action is less surprising, given that she is 30. Coleman has had few chances this World Cup, with Jodie Fields preferred as the wicketkeeper. Coleman played 24 ODIs with 23 victims.

"It's always a surprise I think," Sampson said of Coleman's decision. "She's had a good career."

Jenny Roesler is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo

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