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Lizelle Lee retires from International cricket

South Africa batter Lizelle Lee has announced her retirement from the international cricket, the cricketer took to social media to confirm the matter on Friday.

“It is with a lot of mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from international cricket. From a very young age, I have lived cricket and wanted to represent my country at the highest level. Over the past 8 years I was able to live that dream and I feel I have given everything I could to the Proteas,” Lee said in an official statement released by Cricket South Africa.

“I feel that I am ready for the next phase in my career and will continue to play domestic T20 cricket around the world. It has been an incredible journey and it would not have been possible without everyone who has supported me during my international career. I want to thank my family, especially my wife Tanja for all the sacrifices they have made for me to live out my dream to represent my country,”

“My fellow Proteas teammates, thank you for the wonderful memories we have made together. You have made this journey incredible, and I could not have done this without you. I will always be supporting you; we will always be rising together”, the statement further read.

“Lastly to my fans, I am the person I am because of the love and support you have given me throughout my international career. I look forward to continuing this journey with you in the different leagues around the world,” she added.

Only the recently retired Mignon du Preez has scored more ODI runs than Lee, and Cricket South Africa director of cricket.

“It is with great sadness we have to bid farewell to a titan of South African cricket at a relatively young age, however we wholeheartedly respect the individual’s decision,” Enoch Nkwe said.

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Matthew Mott – ‘India’s ferocity took us by surprise’ in T20I series loss

Jos Buttler implored his England team to be “braver” after “timid” performances with the bat in their first two T20 internationals against India, Matthew Mott has revealed.

England were bowled out for 148 and 121 in Buttler’s first two matches as their full-time limited-overs captain on Thursday and Saturday, losing by 50 and 49 runs respectively. Mott, their new white-ball coach, admitted they had been taken aback by the “ferocity” of India’s new attacking gameplan.

Buttler addressed his squad after the second defeat in Birmingham on Saturday night and told them they should be “prepared to make some mistakes” rather than batting too cautiously. The response was a total of 215 for 6 batting first at Trent Bridge on Sunday, their highest T20I score since February 2020 and one which they defended by a margin of 17 runs despite Suryakumar Yadav’s brilliant 117.

“We learned a lot of lessons in the first two games,” Mott said. “India obviously came out with a really attacking mindset and put us under pressure a lot. We expected that, but the ferocity of it took us by surprise a little bit.

“After the second loss and the series loss, I thought he [Buttler] spoke exceptionally well in the group about these being the times where you learn about character. It’s easy when you’re dominating teams but we’re going to learn more about ourselves playing great teams like India and South Africa leading into a World Cup – we’re going to learn more about what we need in Australia when we’re put under pressure.

“We talked about just being a bit braver. If anything, we could have been accused of being a bit timid with the bat. [On Sunday] we just went out there and thought, ‘it’s a great wicket, let’s put a score out there and hang on.’ We don’t like losing but I think there is plenty that we’ve taken out of this series already and it sets us up well for the summer.”

England were without several first-choice players throughout the series including Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, who have been pencilled in at No. 3 and 4 respectively for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. But, if he is available, Stokes could alternatively be used lower down in a finishing role, with Dawid Malan’s 77 off 39 balls on Sunday serving a reminder of his credentials after an early reprieve when Harshal Patel dropped a caught-and-bowled chance.

Malan’s innings was his first T20I half-century in a year and came after a scratchy innings of 19 off 25 on Saturday. His attacking intent early in his innings was a notable departure from his usual template: “Malan was unbelievable,” Mott said. “In the last game he wasn’t that happy with the way he got going and he worked really hard this morning. He played a special innings.”

Mott expects to have something approaching a full-strength squad available for the three T20Is against South Africa from July 27-31. They will be the final games England play before naming their T20 World Cup squad in mid-September, immediately before they travel to Pakistan for a seven-match series – though some multi-format players will be rested for that tour.

“I don’t think [the World Cup squad] is all locked in yet,” Mott said. “This far out, you’ve got so many things that could happen – whether it’s injuries or form, or whatever. We’ve got a fair idea of what we think the right make-up is, but you want players to come in and perform and really warrant that spot. It’s still open for a lot of players and that’s why we are having looks at different combinations and trying to learn.”

Mott also took positives from England’s death bowling, which has been a problem area over the last two years. “It was an unbelievable experience for some of those bowlers,” he said. “[Reece] Topley was magnificent and [Richard] Gleeson has been a real find for us. All the intel that I’ve had is that it’s definitely been an area that we’re looking to improve, so to be under that sort of pressure and hold our nerve gives us a lot of confidence.”

England will welcome Stokes, Bairstow, Joe Root and Craig Overton into their squad for this week’s ODI series against India, which starts on Tuesday at the Kia Oval. “They’re obviously world-class players,” Mott said. “As a coach, it’s a great opportunity to learn from probably some of the best players in this format of all-time.

“They’ll bring some energy into the group and they’re really excited to be there. I don’t think they’ll have to change a hell of a lot from the way they’ve been playing but it’s a slightly different format. They come in pretty hot and we’re straight into it: that’s the modern game. We’ll see how everyone pulls up.”

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Ireland skipper disappointed with ICC for low fixtures

Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie was disappointed and demanded the International Cricket Council (ICC) to give his country more cricket fixtures.

Ireland recently played two T20Is against India and three ODIs against New Zealand, however, he believes it wasn’t quite enough for the team.

“It was an amazing game (third ODI against New Zealand), we did well to go toe-to-toe with them. Bitter pill to swallow but it was great. The two hundreds (from Stirling and Tector) were among the best I’ve seen. Tector has been threatening to do this, getting two in a week is special. Hope he will get more,” said Balbirine.

“We want to be playing these teams regularly, two (T20Is) against India and three (ODIs) here. it’s a pity we don’t play any ODIs for the rest of the year,” he added.

Ireland showcased outstanding performance in the third and final ODI against New Zealand at Malahide on Friday.

Paul Stirling (120) and Harry Tector (108) slammed centuries but missed the target of 360 set by the tourists by just one run to lose the series 0-3.