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England women's World Cup winner Hartley to retire from cricket



Photo: Alex Hartley

|| AFP ||

Alex Hartley, a member of the England side that won the 2017 Women's World Cup final, has said she will retire from cricket at the end of this season's domestic Hundred competition.

Hartley, 29, took 10 wickets in eight matches during England's march to the 50-over global title including 2-58 in a nine-run win over India in the final at Lord's. 

That was arguably the high point of an England career that included 28 one-day internationals and four Twenty20s.

But the left-arm spinner has not played international cricket since 2019 and briefly stepped away from playing in May after admitting she had been struggling mentally", having fallen out of love with the game.

Hartley made her comeback earlier this month in the Hundred with Welsh Fire, who are guaranteed to reach the eliminator at The Oval on Saturday and could go directly into Sunday's final at Lord's.

Regardless of what happens to the Fire, Hartley -- who has forged a career as a broadcaster with BBC Radio's Test Match Special -- will retire from cricket this weekend.

"I'm hanging the boots up. I am officially retiring from cricket," the 29-year-old said on her BBC 'No Balls' podcast. "I can't believe it, I feel so good.

"I have been thinking about it for ages and ages. I'm going to really miss it, I'm going to be really sad but it's so right. I've loved it, I've hated it but I am really proud of what I've achieved."

Hartley, who made her England debut in 2016, added: "It's everything that I've ever wanted to do. I'm gutted I didn't play Test cricket but I'm one of those where if you're not good enough then you're not good enough."