Veteran England pacer Katherine Brunt has announced her retirement from Test cricket. Katherine, 36, walks away from the format as England's third-leading Test wicket-taker with 51 wickets in 14 matches, including three five-wicket hauls with a best of 6/69 against Australia at Worcester in 2009.
"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 heartbreaking choice to make, but it allows me to prioritise white-ball cricket," said Katherine in a statement.Katherine, who made her Test debut in 2004, took eight wickets in her final Test, the thrilling draw in the women's Ashes Test in Canberra, Australia, claiming 5/60 in the first innings and 3/24 in the second essay.
She retires having enjoyed the tenth-longest Test career in the history of the women's game. Katherine will continue to play white-ball cricket for England, where she has bagged 167 wickets in 140 ODIs and scalped 98 wickets in 96 T20Is.
"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," added Katherine.
England's only Test of the upcoming summer comes against South Africa at Taunton from June 27-30. The hosts will then face the Proteas in three ODIs and as many T20Is, before participating in the women's T20 event at the Commonwealth Games in late July and August, followed by three ODIs and as many T20Is against India.
"Katherine's passion and commitment was never more evident than when she played Test cricket for England and you only need to watch the last Ashes Test to see her desire, her heart and her undoubted ability with the red ball in hand."
"She has given everything for England Women in Test cricket and we are fully supportive of her decision to focus on white-ball cricket on the international stage. Katherine can leave the red ball behind knowing she is a true legend in that form of the game and that she has set standards that future generations can only aspire to," said Jonathan Finch, Director of England Women's cricket.