Alex Blackwell will bring her record-breaking career to an end after the Sydney Thunder veteran announced she will retire at the end of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
- Alex Blackwell made her senior domestic debut for New South Wales in the 2001-02 season
- Blackwell is Australia’s most-capped women’s international player and led the national side to its 2010 World Twenty20 success
- She played 12 Tests, 144 ODIs and 95 T20Is for Australia
Blackwell has confirmed this summer would be her last, 18 years after making her senior domestic debut and two seasons after stepping away from the international game.
One of the finest batters of her time, Blackwell is Australia’s most capped women’s international player. She scored more than 5,000 runs for Australia and captained the team to its 2010 World Twenty20 success.
Blackwell played 12 Tests, 144 one-day internationals and 95 T20 internationals for Australia during a 14-year span.
She is the Thunder’s leading run-scorer across both the men’s and women’s domestic T20 competitions and led the club to the WBBL inaugural title.
She had toyed with the idea of retirement last season but opted to play on into a record-equalling 19th Australian domestic season while handing the captaincy to Rachael Haynes.
The 36-year-old told teammates of her decision after Wednesday’s win over Melbourne Stars, where she hit 65 to guide them to a much-needed victory to keep their finals hopes alive.
“I’d decided before the match that I was going to retire. It’s got to come to an end at some point,” Blackwell said.
“There’s been many highlights, but what’s been really cool [this season] is watching the next generation of Thunder players grabbing their opportunities.
“It’s been very special to be a part of that. I’m really satisfied.
“I’ve been really happy with [the role of] mentoring out in the middle. I had an opportunity against the Stars to bat with [16-year-old] Phoebe Litchfield and Saskia Horley.”
Blackwell’s career came at a point of dominance for both New South Wales and Australia.
A long-time captain of New South Wales, she won 14 Women’s National Cricket Leagues with the Breakers as they dropped just two 50-over titles throughout her career.
She is the Breakers’ all-time leading run scorer with 4,788 runs at an average 46.94 from 139 matches, including 11 centuries and 30 half-centuries.
She is now a member of the Cricket NSW board, where she became the first woman in the 160-year history of the organisation to do so last year.
Blackwell and the Thunder must beat Melbourne Renegades in their final-round WBBL match on Sunday to reach the semi-finals.