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Katherine Sciver-Brunt retires from international cricket after 19-year career

Veteran fast bowler steps down ahead of this summer's Ashes after decorated career

Katherine Sciver-Brunt was the leading wicket-taker in England women's history  •  Getty Images

Katherine Sciver-Brunt was the leading wicket-taker in England women's history  •  Getty Images

Katherine Sciver-Brunt, the most prolific bowler in English women's cricket, has announced her international retirement after a 19-year career.
Sciver-Brunt, who made her England debut in 2004, played the last of her 267 international matches against South Africa in the T20 World Cup semi-final at Newlands in February.
In all, she claimed a total of 335 wickets across formats for England, comprising 170 in ODIs and 114 in T20Is - both record hauls for the country - and a further 51 in 14 Test appearances, the most by any bowler this century.
In the course of her career, Sciver-Brunt won three World Cups - including a Player-of-the-Match performance in the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord's in 2009 - and four Ashes series.
Her announcement means that, having retired from Test cricket last summer, she will now play no part in this summer's Ashes, which runs concurrently with the men's series in June and July.
Sciver-Brunt said: "Well here I am, 19 years later, at the end of my international journey. I thought I'd never be able to reach this decision but I have and it's been the hardest one of my life.
"I never had any dreams or aspirations to do what I've done, I only ever wished to make my family proud of me. And what I've achieved has gone way beyond that.
"I have so much to be thankful for, cricket has given me a purpose, a sense of belonging, security, many golden memories and best friends that will last a lifetime. Of the trophies and titles I could have wished to achieve, I have reached them all, but my greatest achievement is the happiness that I have found in [wife] Nat.
"It has been a huge honour representing England for so long and I'd like to thank all of the England cricket family past and present for making my time a special one. The supporters - you are awesome, without you we wouldn't be able to do what it is that we love and the atmosphere you guys create is irreplaceable.
"The biggest thanks I have though goes to my family, they are my biggest fans and greatest support without which I wouldn't have made this journey at all."
Clare Connor, the ECB's deputy CEO and England Women's Managing Director - who was also Sciver-Brunt's first England captain - said: "Katherine has done so much for the game of cricket and for women's cricket in particular. She has been an unbelievable role-model, giving us everything she has for nearly 20 years.
"When cricketers retire, we rightly celebrate their skill, their runs and wickets, their records and accolades. But what Katherine has given the game of cricket extends far beyond those things. Her most powerful impact has been through her human qualities - through her passion to take our sport forward, her care for her teammates, her desire to always come back better and stronger despite significant injury setbacks.
"Through the time she has spent with fans, signing autographs, having her photograph taken with so many girls and boys who have been inspired by her. Many of those children will have watched Katherine play over the years and will have been inspired to start playing themselves. That's an incredibly powerful legacy of which she should be so proud.
"Katherine began her career in a completely different era from the one we are in now and we owe her a debt of gratitude for the part she has played in progressing our game, raising standards and bringing a new audience to women's cricket.
"She is quite simply a legend of our sport and I'd like to extend my thanks and the thanks of everyone at the ECB and across the game to her. We wish her all the best as she steps away from a remarkable international cricket career."
Sciver-Brunt had already announced her retirement from regional cricket, but she will continue to play in the Hundred.