New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Rachel Priest has announced her retirement from international cricket on Thursday. Her decision came after she was dropped from the central contracts list of White Ferns for the 2020-21 season earlier this month. She had returned to the national colour in late 2019 after a gap of more than two years.
Priest, who played a key role for New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup earlier this year in Australia, has played 87 ODIs and 75 T20Is in her 13 years cricketing career. She has scored 2567 international runs including two centuries and 11 fifties across formats. Her top score of 157 came against Sri Lanka in 2015 during which she scored both her one-day centuries in the space of four days.
As a wicketkeeper, she has 165 dismissals in her kitty. However, Rachel Priest has signed a contract with Tasmania and will represent them in Australia Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) as well.
“Having been involved in the White Ferns environment for 13 years, most of it enjoyable, it is with much consideration that I have decided to retire from international cricket,” Priest said. “I am really looking forward to the next chapter of my cricketing journey with Cricket Tasmania and the Tigers program and feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity.”
While speaking to the Cricket Tasmania website, she shared, “I’m in a position where I’ve played a fair amount of cricket at the age that I’m at around the world, so I’m certainly hoping to add some of that experience and bring a bit of the mongrel that [coach Salliann Briggs] spoke to me about.”
“Experience is massive but it’s also about trying to bring a positive belief into the team, where the girls can be whoever they want to be and back themselves when they perform.”
Along with Rachel Priest, Heather Graham (Western Australia) and Naomi Stalenberg (New South Wales) will also play for Tasmania in the 2020-21 season. Meanwhile, Cricket Australia have confirmed that the domestic competitions will retain their current format and number of matches amid the threat of cost-savings forced by global pandemic COVID-19.