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Ireland's Amy Kenealy retires from international cricket

File photo: Amy Kenealy bowling for Ireland against New Zealand in 2018 Cricket Ireland

Ireland's Amy Kenealy has ended an 11-year career, announcing her retirement from international cricket.

The 31-year old seamer finished with 45 wickets from 72 matches across formats. That put her in 12th place on the list of most successful Irish bowlers in women's cricket.

Kenealy made her international debut in June 2008, against West Indies, on her club cricket home ground in Rathmines and played her last game for Ireland in July 2018.

"It is with all sorts of mixed emotions I am stepping away from the Ireland Women's international team, but this is the correct decision for me right now," she said in a Cricket Ireland press release issued on Monday. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, coaches and Cricket Ireland staff for every opportunity that they have given me in this amazing part of my life - from the gruelling fitness sessions on Clontarf seafront back in 2006 to the amazing Sport Ireland Institute, to playing in men's Division 12, to opening the bowling in a [T20] World Cup in India and everything in between.

"I've given it my all, and have made so many friends and memories over this time. Although it is sad to step away, I'll keep up with the progress of the team and be there to support the girls throughout."

Miriam Grealey, Ireland women's selector and Kenealy's former long-term coach, has seen her talent from an early age. "As an 18-year old Amy was one of the best young bowlers in the country, so I had no hesitation in selecting her. Throughout her career, Amy was a great addition to the squad with an excellent work ethic and attitude."

Cricket Ireland hope to keep Kenealy involved in the game with their performance director, Richard Holdsworth, saying: "Too often in the sporting world we see athletes come through the system, then we struggle to retain them in the system after they call time on their competitive days. I hope Amy, and players like her, can be part of the future of the game. We know there is a growing interest in girls and women's cricket across Ireland, and we hope to be able to utilise the talent within the game to inspire the next generation."