Claire Taylor, who holds the record for the highest score in a One Day International at Lord’s, has retired from international cricket.
Taylor, 35, announced her decision after England’s 34-run victory over Australia in the final of the NatWest Quadrangular 50-over competition at Wormsley.
The Berkshire batsman bows out after 15 Tests, 126 ODIs and 27 Twenty20s, having won the ICC World Cup at both T20 and ODI level and having become the first woman to be named in Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year.
That award came in 2009 - arguably the best year of her illustrious carreer. Earlier in the same year she was named player of the tournament award at the World Cup in Australia for her 324 runs at 64.80 and also received an MBE.
Taylor, who missed this year’s Ashes series in Australia through injury, said: "It's the right time mentally and physically for me to step away from the international game.
"Fitting in all the training amid an ever busier working life is becoming unsustainable, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the week.
"Physically I seem to need to spend more and more time in the gym recovering from injuries rather than training to get fitter. I'm getting old I guess."
Taylor’s finest hour in an England shirt came at the Home of Cricket in 2006 when she wrote her name into the Ground’s folklore with a magnificent display against India.
Coming into bat at number four, Taylor proceeded to dismantle the India attack with an innings of 156 from only 151 balls.
It passed the previous record of 138, held by Sir Viv Richards since the 1979 World Cup.
Taylor’s affinity with the ground also stems from her status as a Member of MCC. She remains an exceptionally active playing Member and regular captain of the Club.
Past and future
England’s win at Wormsley secured their spot at number one in the World Rankings in ODI cricket and avenged Australia’s 2-1 series victory in the winter. It also followed closely on from England's victory in the T20 quadrangular tournament.
After an indifferent year in 2010, England women have regained the momentum of 2009.
Current MCC Young Cricketers (YC) and MCC Universities (opens in a new window) (MCCU) players made up almost half of the squad for the ODI series and MCCU spinner Holly Colvin was player of the series in the T20 tournament.
Taylor admitted that the strength of the young players coming into the England side made her decision to retire easier:
"The squad I'm leaving has huge potential over the next couple of years and I wish them well for the future.
"There are some exciting players pressing for places which points towards a bright future for England women's cricket."