Legendary England women pacer Katherine Brunt has announced her retirement from Test cricket on Saturday (June 18). She will continue to be available for selection in the limited-overs formats.

Brunt, who featured in 14 Tests, finished with 51 wickets at an average of 21.52, including three five-wicket hauls. She debuted in the longest format in 2004 and a year later was named player of the match after bagging nine wickets and smashing a half-century to help England win the Ashes for the first time in 42 years.

Brunt last featured in the one-off Ashes Test earlier this year in Canberra, where she finished with eight wickets in the match, including a 5-fer in the first innings. Brunt, the third highest wicket taker for England in the longest format, said the thoughts of retirement have surfaced quite a few times in the last couple of years; hence she has decided to call time on her red-ball career.

“I feel like as an athlete, there is never an obvious time to step away from doing the thing that you love. But over the past two years, thoughts of retirement have surfaced more and more, so I’ve decided to make a smart decision rather than an emotional one. Test cricket is my absolute passion, and to retire from this format was truly a heart-breaking choice to make, but it allows me to prioritise white-ball cricket,” said Brunt in a statement.

“I know that I leave it in a great place, the bowlers coming through are ready, and they’re just itching to be let loose. And with the South Africa game around the corner, I’m very much looking forward to watching them from the best seat in the house,” she added.

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