Ireland’s Amy Kenealy in action. © Getty Images

The word ‘former’ got attached before Amy Kenealy’s description as an Ireland cricketer after she announced her decision to call it quits from the sport.

Aged 31, Kenealy last donned the Irish green in international cricket July 2018. In 23 ODIs, she has 16 wickets to show while in the shortest format, she picked up seven wickets in the 22 innings she bowled in.

“It is with all sorts of mixed emotions I am stepping away from the Ireland Women’s international team, but this is the correct decision for me right now,” she said in a statement.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, coaches and Cricket Ireland staff for every opportunity that they have given me in this amazing part of my life – from the gruelling fitness sessions on Clontarf seafront back in 2006 to the amazing Sport Ireland Institute, to playing in men’s Division 12, to opening the bowling in a World Cup in India and everything in between.”

Kenealy played two World T20s – in Bangladesh in 2014 and in India in 2016. She debuted for Ireland way back in 2008 and played at the highest level for ten years.

“I can still remember that first phone call from Claire O’Leary in my leaving cert year to invite me to train with the squad – since that time I’ve given it my all, and have made so many friends and memories over this time.”

She said she would be keeping tab on the progress of Ireland and support them as she bid adieu to the sport.

“As an 18-year old Amy was one of the best young bowlers in the country, so I had no hesitation in selecting her,” said Miriam Grealey, Ireland Women’s selector and former long-term coach of Kenealy. “Throughout her career Amy was a great addition to the squad with an excellent work ethic and attitude.”

Even the Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, Richard Holdsworth, had words of praise for the Ireland seamer. “To play 72 times for her country is a testament to Amy’s skills and abilities as a cricketer, and while we support her in her decision and wish her well, we hope that she maintains a close relationship with cricket and can be a supportive presence as we grow our sport across Ireland,” he said.

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