Katherine Sciver-Brunt ends World Cup career after England's semi-final exit

Veteran seamer turns 38 in July, with an Ashes looming during the home summer

Valkerie Baynes
Valkerie Baynes
Katherine Sciver-Brunt shows her frustration in a wicketless spell, England vs South Africa, Women's T20 World Cup, semi-final, Cape Town, February 24, 2023

Katherine Sciver-Brunt has been part of 11 World Cup campaigns across formats  •  AFP/Getty Images

Veteran seamer Katherine Sciver-Brunt has confirmed that England's semi-final exit in Cape Town will be her last World Cup appearance.
Sciver-Brunt, who turns 38 in July, has not made any decision on her playing future beyond the current T20 World Cup, where hosts South Africa will take on defending champions Australia in the final on Sunday after a six-run victory over England in their semi-final. England are due to host Australia in the Women's Ashes this summer.
Sciver-Brunt had retired from Test cricket before the multi-format series against South Africa in England last year, which kicked off with a Test at Taunton. The Ashes are also a multi-format event and she could conceivably play in the white-ball series, though she was only part of the T20I squad that toured the Caribbean in the lead-up to this World Cup.
"I've been thinking about retirement daily for two years," Sciver-Brunt told the ICC in a press release issued on Saturday. "It used to be after every tour, I'd question what I was doing.
"But as it's drawn closer, I've thought about it a bit more seriously and it does creep into your mind when you're training, mainly because of the pressure other people put on you. You get all those comments and then you start to think, 'Oh, am I slowing down? Should I stop? Am I embarrassing myself?'
"I've always said I would like to retire on top, where I'm still wanted, I'm still picked in the first XI, I'm not less than what I used to be. That's how I've felt in the last six months, those things are starting to creep in where I can see somebody taking my role and doing it just as well. This is definitely the last World Cup and beyond this point, I'm fairly close to it all being along the same line, so it won't be long."
Sciver-Brunt came in for criticism during England's semi-final defeat for berating younger team-mates for fielding errors. Sciver-Brunt claimed four wickets in five matches at the tournament, at an average of 30.75 and economy rate of 7.53. She leaked 19 runs in the final over of the group match against India, where her figures were 0 for 39 from three overs, and 18 off the final over as South Africa set a target of 165 on Friday, when she took 0 for 33 from four overs.
This was Sciver-Brunt's sixth T20 World Cup and 11th overall, having first played in the 2005 ODI event. She made her international debut in a Test against New Zealand at Scarborough in 2004 and her white-ball debut in an ODI during England's tour of South Africa the following year. She took 3 for 6 in the 2009 T20 World Cup final, the year England claimed the ODI and T20 titles as well as the Ashes. In 2017, she was part of the side that reclaimed the 50-over World Cup at Lord's.
She and her wife Nat, the tournament's leading run-scorer so far, appeared at the event wearing their married name emblazoned across their shirts.
"Looking back on my career, I'd like to think I was Mrs. Consistent," she said. "I'd like to be remembered as someone who was always at the top of my game and always contributing for my country, helping us in a winning cause and giving everything I had.
"The good thing is Nat can carry on my name, the legacy of Brunt will carry on, which is great. Having my name associated with hers is also great because she's a bit of a legend in her own right now."
Katherine told Sky Sports earlier this month that she planned to retire from cricket if England won the T20 World Cup but she would consider contesting the Ashes if they didn't. And she has indicated that she is still coming to terms with the idea of not playing alongside Nat in England colours when that time does come.
"A lot of people say, 'how does she put up with you?' She has patience in abundance and empathy and she understands me and loves me for who I am," Katherine said. "We just work really well together and complement each other, and there is never a day where we want to be apart.
"Coming into my retirement, she will be gone, but hopefully the ECB will take me along. I'll be slinging in the nets to all of them."

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women's cricket, at ESPNcricinfo