Sarah Coyte, the South Australia and Adelaide Strikers allrounder, is seeking better balance in life after announcing her retirement from all forms of the game at the age of 25. Her decision arrived a year after she stepped down from international duty with the Southern Stars to combat mental health issues.
Having come from a strong cricket background in New South Wales - her brother Scott also played for the Blues and went on to represent the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League - Coyte put together a remarkably consistent record for Australia in ODIs in particular, averaging 22.00 with the bat and 22.27 with the ball over 30 matches beginning in 2011.
She excelled largely with the ball in Tests and Twenty20s for Australia, and performed similar feats with NSW and latterly SA. Coyte has spoken publicly in the past of her battles with anorexia nervosa while playing international cricket, and said on Wednesday she had made the decision to quit the game and return home to her family in Sydney to continue working on her personal development and quality of life.
"The last two seasons with the Scorpions and the Strikers have been the best and most fun of my career," she said. "I will miss the girls so much; I have really enjoyed being around them. I want to thank SACA for everything they have done for me and the support they have offered during some hard times.
"I am going home to Sydney to be close to my family and restore some balance to my life. I have been realising lately how much I have missed my family and it is finally time for me to go home. I am not going back home to play for New South Wales, I am leaving domestic cricket altogether to refocus on myself and my loved ones."
Coyte took on the mantle of a senior player in SA, offering leadership to others that the Scorpions benefited from enormously - never more so than in the 2015 WNCL final when they snapped a run of 10 consecutive titles for NSW in a memorable final. Coyte contributed a typically tidy spell to tie her former teammates in knots.
"Since joining SA, Sarah has had such a great influence over the young players, especially in terms of her commitment to strength and conditioning," the Scorpions coach Andrea McCauley said. "She really led the way for the younger Scorps and showed them just what it takes to be an elite athlete.
"It's disappointing to lose such a quality player. I have enjoyed having Sarah as part of the group for the past two seasons but it's so important that she looks after herself and does whatever it is she wants to do with her life next. I truly wish her all the best for this new chapter."
Coyte's efforts were also recognised by the Cricket Australia chief executive, James Sutherland. "On behalf of the board and everyone at Cricket Australia, we congratulate Sarah on a wonderful career, both internationally and domestically, and thank her for the wonderful contribution she has made to Australian cricket," he said.
"She played a key role in making the Australian team the formidable side it is, and should be proud of her efforts and what she achieved in her career. Sarah always showed a great deal of fight and passion when playing for her country, and we thank her for her commitment to the green and gold."
After she returns to Sydney in April, Coyte will expand her burgeoning career in health and fitness, making use of the many lessons learned while playing elite sport.