A wonderful sporting chapter comes to an end as Charlotte Edwards retires from international cricket

England Womens Cricket captain Charlotte Edwards

England Womens Cricket captain Charlotte Edwards - Credit: Archant

Huntingdonshire sporting heroine Charlotte Edwards has called time on her glittering international cricket career.

England Ladies captain Edwards announced her retirement this morning with immediate effect, but she will continue to play the game at domestic level.

The 36 year-old has enjoyed a stunning 20-year career in England colours, the last 10 of which have been as skipper. She led her country into battle 220 times and delivered plenty of success along the way.

Edwards, from Pidley, guided England to World Cup and World Twenty20 titles while also overseeing four Ashes series wins against Australia.

In a statement for www.ecb.co.uk, Edwards said: “Everyone who knows me – and how much I love playing for England – will appreciate what a difficult decision it has been for me to retire from international cricket.

“It’s a decision I’ve reached after much thought and detailed discussion about what is best for the team going forward.

“I have given 20 years to playing for England and I leave very proud of the standing in which the women’s game is held and of my contribution as a player and captain.

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“As a 16-year-old girl making my debut for England, I couldn’t have dreamed that I would have had such an amazing time with so much success.

“I’ve travelled the world, won World Cups and Ashes series and shared it all with some of my closest friends.

“However, nothing lasts forever. I believe now is the right time for a new captain to lead the team forward and for young players to be given more opportunities to make their mark on the international game.

“After honest and open discussions with Mark (coach, Robinson), it became clear that he wants to build a new team and I fully support that.

“I would have loved to have carried on and whilst I am disappointed that I won’t be doing so, I fully understand and respect what Mark is looking to do. This is a new era and he wants other players to come to the fore to build a strong team.

“Twenty years is a long time and so I have many people to thank: my family, my friends, every single coach who has helped me get better during my career, all the support staff and my England team mates over the last two decades.

“They are all special to me and I couldn’t have achieved even half of what I have without them. I also want to thank everyone at the ECB for all their support and guidance over the years, and to the incredible fan base that has grown for the England women’s team throughout my career.

“Aside from the team’s successes and my own personal record, I am most proud of where the women’s game is now.

“I have loved working with the ECB off the pitch to break new ground and to build a better future for the sport, and I hope to continue to play a role in this moving forwards.”

Edwards made her international debut as a 16 year-old in 1996 and went on to become the highest appearance maker in the women’s international game.

She has appeared in 23 Tests, 191 one-day internationals and 95 Twenty20 internationals.

Edwards is also the leading one-day run-scorer in the women’s cricket with 5,992 and has scored more Twenty20 international runs, 2,605, than any other male or female cricketer.

Those exploits, along with her tireless work to raise the profile of the women’s game, led to Edwards being awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2014.