Shabnim Ismail one of the fast pacers in Women’s Cricket has retired from International Cricket with immediate effect. Ismail who last featured in ICC T20 World Cup in February 2023 will continue to play in T20 leagues worldwide. Notably, CSA has also offered the prolific pacer central contracts for the 2023-2024 season but she didn’t accept it & has chosen to end her South African career with immediate effect. She has taken this decision in order to take care of his family.
CSA has issued an official statement in which Ismail stated that she wants more time for herself so that she can spend maximum time with her family. The statement said, “wanting to spend more time with my family, particularly my siblings, and parents as they get older. I really believe that reducing the amount of cricket I play will enable me to do this, and playing in global leagues is the only way I see to be able to fit in both family and cricket.”
Ismail last played for the UP Warriorz in the inaugural edition of WPl 2023. He also signed a deal with the Fairbreak tournament & has featured for the Welsh Fire in the Hundred 2022. She has also played in BBL & was a part of the Oval Invincibles squad and Melbourne Renegades in the Women’s Big Bash league. She calls time on her career when there is an increase in T20 franchise leagues where players can early by participating in several leagues.
Back in 2014, Cricket South Africa contracted seven players & Ismail was one among them. She has played for nine long years featuring in one one-off Test, 127 ODIs & 113 T20Is. During her illustrious career, she has scalped 191 ODI wickets which is the second-highest number in Women’s Cricket behind India’s legend Jhulan Goswami while her record of 123 T20I wickets is the fourth-highest figure for any bowler. She also enjoys the record of the highest number of ODI wickets in a calendar year i.e. 37 in 2022 & also the record of most wickets at a single ground i.e. 24 in Ptchesfstroom.
Ismail has also hit the straps in the mega World Cups where she has featured in four ODI World Cups & eight T20Is World Cups. In these marquee events, she has helped her team to qualify for three semi-finals especially the home T20 World Cup final earlier this year. her outstanding spell in this year’s T02 World Cup has helped South Africa to qualify for the first senior Women’s World Cup finals. The event was special for Ismail as she bowled some of the fastest deliveries in Women’s Cricket which marked around 128kph. She is known for her continuous efforts to deliver high-speed deliveries & her professional never-give-up attitude on the field.
“This is a poignant but celebratory moment for South African cricket and the global game as a whole, as we celebrate and honor an incredible cricketer in Shabnim Ismail,” Enoch Nkwe, CSA’s Director of Cricket said. “Shabnim has transcended women’s cricket as a fierce competitor with the ability to make any batter uncomfortable at the crease with her rapid pace that regularly surpassed 120kph throughout her career. She will be sorely missed by the team and all South African cricket fans as she continues to inspire the next generation of cricketers during her remaining domestic career in all parts of the globe, Nkwe added to his statement.
Players taking retirement by choice has become a trend in CSA
Since December 2022, South Africa has witnessed their top five players who were with the team through its building phase taking voluntary retirement. Mignon Du Preez, Dabe Van Niekerk, Lizelle Lee, Trisha Chetty & Shabnim Ismail all have retired from Intenrtaional Cricket. But CSA is trying to work with their available group of players & form a strong Women’s team. They have appointed a Women’s Director of Cricket & are working towards launching a professional domestic league for the 2023-24 season with the bid of promoting women’s cricket in the country. They are expected to announce equal fees for men’s & women’s teams in order to promote equality.
Also read, Stephen Fleming Opens Up On MS Dhoni’s Retirement