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Karen Rolton Retires

 by Jenny Roesler

[Karen Rolton]

Karen Rolton’s retirement from international cricket is sad news indeed, not just for Australia but for world cricket. This decision would have been far from easy – as a state teammate once said: “She would play for Australia on her deathbed if she could.”

But, alas, the knees that forced her to give up bowling have finally forced her out of the international arena completely. She will continue to lead South Australia.

Rolton’s relinquishing of the captaincy in June prompted speculation that retirement was imminent. Her reason, though, was to assist the new leader Jodie Fields in making a smooth transition for the side. Rolton managed to play the subsequent Ashes and limited-overs series in England before saying enough was enough.

Now, on the eve of the dual Rose Bowl series – which kicks off in Australia next month – Fields will have to feel her own way.

Rolton will be a bystander at her home ground, the Adelaide Oval, for the opening two ODIs as a new era gets underway without her. It will be hard for her to watch the team she loves so much and not be a part of it, but Rolton will approach it with typical maturity and an undiminished desire for Australia to win.

Though Rolton has been in good form at state level, ever the realist she said: “It would be difficult to perform consistently at the high level needed to play for Australia in international cricket including the ICC World Twenty20."

While her achievements for Australia in her 14-year career are vast, the highlights are summarised as follows:
  • She was voted the first ICC International Female of the Year in 2007.
  • She played a world-record 141 ODIs, scoring 4814 runs and has the most centuries, lifted two World Cups and played 14 Tests and 15 Twenty20s.
  • The World Cup triumph in 2005 was built around her unbeaten century.

Cricket Australia's chairman Jack Clarke summed up Rolton’s epic contributions thus: "Her performances on the international stage can't be downplayed. For 14 years she dominated opposing teams in an unmatched era for Australian women's cricket."
Jan 20 2010

Karen Rolton in action with bat and ball against England
in the summer of 2005