Dublin, July 28 : Wicketkeeper-batter Mary Waldron, Ireland’s most-capped female cricketer, has announced her retirement, bringing an end to an international career of 13 years that included 184 appearances and 148 dismissals.
Mary was to retire after the third ODI of the current series against Australia, but an unfortunate injury sustained during the second ODI on Tuesday led to her being ruled out of the playing eleven for Friday’s match.
“It’s obviously a very emotional time but I’m very proud of what I have achieved. I want to say a huge thank you to the staff and coaches at Cricket Ireland for the opportunity to represent my country, and to Pembroke and Malahide for shaping my journey and supporting me all the way.”
“To my family and Roxane, thank you for your support — and for giving me a roof over my head whenever I needed it. More specifically, to Mum and Dad the best supporters in the world – thank you for everything. Finally, to my teammates, I will miss you so much, but can’t wait to follow your journey over the years ahead,” said Mary in a statement issued by Cricket Ireland.
Born in Dublin, Mary, 39, was late to cricket, having first forged a football career that led to senior international representation for Ireland. It wasn’t until her mid-20s that she committed to cricket and quickly began to establish herself as the number one wicketkeeper in Ireland’s women’s team.
“It’s a sad day when a teammate retires -– but even more so when that teammate is Mary Waldron. We made our international debuts on the same day and I have loved every minute of playing alongside her. As a senior player within the international squad, Mary has been an invaluable support and sounding board to me while I’ve been in the captaincy.”
“To have a great wicketkeeper in your side is an asset –- but to also have a great analytical brain being able to assess circumstances of the game from behind the stumps is a godsend, and I know she has helped me to become a better leader through our many on-field and off-field conversations.”
“I’ll miss her dearly, but it’s at times like these that we should try to celebrate a legendary career and I’m sure Irish fans will let her know how highly-regarded she is -– and rightly so,” added Ireland skipper Laura Delany.
Mary played 56 ODIs and 88 T20Is for Ireland, But was more renowned for her quick hands and agile footwork behind the stumps. She captained the senior side 10 times, with a 60% win rate and was a central part of Ireland Women’s senior leadership team, being influential off and on the field.
Aside from dominating the Ireland women’s wicketkeeping records, Mary finishes as the 10th highest run-scorer for the team with a top-score of 55 not out against West Indies.
“Mary was one of those players you always wanted in your squad -– a born leader both on- and off the field, no matter the situation she could always be relied upon to rally her teammates or be a support during challenging times.”
“Being someone who came relatively late to cricket, it’s incredible how she learned quickly, and how insightful and incisive she became. Not only did she lead the side on ten occasions, but her on-field support for the captain from behind the stumps became increasingly important.”
“Her ability to read the game, quickly analyse a situation or spot a fielding change, was welcomed by successive captains. She will be missed greatly, by the coaches, but probably more so by her teammates who she was friend, colleague or mentor to -– and sometimes all three at once.”
“I know her playing retirement is not Mary’s loss to our sport, as she is already making her way through the umpiring ranks and I wish her well in that new primary focus,” concluded head coach Ed Joyce.
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