Lend Lease Breakers and Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars allrounder, Lisa Sthalekar, has confirmed her retirement from State cricket after 190 appearances for NSW over 16 seasons.
Sthalekar is one of the legends of NSW cricket after making her State debut in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) as an 18-year-old back on 24 January 1998, against Queensland at Old Kings Oval in Parramatta. She went on to play 145 WNCL matches, the most of any player in the history of the competition.
Sthalekar retires as the leading wicket taker in the history of the WNCL with 166 victims at an average of 21.95. She is also one of only seven players to have scored more than 3,000 WNCL runs, finishing with 3,414 at 34.14.
Her amazing record includes an astonishing 16 straight WNCL Finals between 1997/98 and 2012/13. In that time she won 14 titles with the Lend Lease Breakers, including five consecutive crowns as captain.
In Twenty20 cricket, Sthalekar represented NSW on 45 occasions, with her last appearance coming in the 2012/13 Final against Western Australia in Perth where the Lend Lease Breakers won their maiden WT20 crown.
In this format she has scored 587 runs at 21.74, and recently became the first player to take 50 wickets in Australian women’s domestic T20 history.
She won the Belinda Clark Medal as the Lend Lease Breakers Player of the Year on four occasions, including three consecutive crowns in 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08, while she shared the honour with Leah Poulton in 2011/12.
Sthalekar retired from International cricket immediately after helping the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars win the ICC Women’s World Cup Final. She considered her future at the State level during an extended holiday in India after the tournament, before making a final decision after returning home earlier this week.
“Initially, I was unsure of whether I would play one more season of domestic cricket. However, I am now confident that the time is right to step down from the NSW team, especially after we achieved our goal of winning the WNCL and WT20 titles in the same season,” she said.
“I will certainly miss the camaraderie of the Lend Lease Breakers. There is a tremendous amount of talent in NSW women’s cricket right now, at all levels, and I am looking forward to watching one of those young players step up to take my place in the side next summer.
“I am so proud to have represented NSW and be part of its history. I am extremely grateful to Cricket NSW, and the NSW Women’s Cricket Association. They have given me the opportunity to live my dream.”
Cricket NSW Acting Chief Executive, Michael Dalton, congratulated Sthalekar on a fine career.
“Lisa Sthalekar has enjoyed a phenomenal career for NSW. Her commitment and performances over her 16 seasons at the elite level have never wavered. There have been many changes in women’s cricket during Lisa’s career, and she has continually evolved her game to meet new challenges. Her work ethic is a tremendous example for young cricketers with dreams of representing NSW and Australia,” he said.
“Fortunately, Lisa will not be lost to Cricket NSW. Since 2005 she has managed Cricket NSW’s Female Youth Programs and played a major role in identifying the next generation of stars, including many of her current NSW and Australian team mates. Last December, she also coached the NSW U/15 team to a National title.”
While her representative commitments are over, Sthalekar still has a few games of cricket left and will line up for Gordon for the remainder of the Sydney First Grade season.