Hartley, 29, took a break from the game earlier this year after revealing she was “struggling mentally” while playing for Thunder in regional cricket, having lost confidence in her bowling and enthusiasm for the sport.
She returned in the Hundred and has made three appearances for Welsh Fire, taking two wickets. Fire’s revival this year means that they are already guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages. If selected, Hartley’s last game will come either in Saturday’s eliminator at The Oval, or Sunday’s final at Lord’s.
“I’m really, really excited. I’m going to really miss it. I’m going to be really sad – but it’s right, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking about it for ages”
Hartley revealed her decision to quit the professional game on No Balls, the BBC podcast she co-hosts with Kate Cross, and has already moved into a successful career as a pundit and broadcaster. She had initially planned to play a farewell game for Thunder, but decided the timing was right.
“I’m hanging my boots up – I am officially retiring from cricket,” Hartley said. “I’ve absolutely loved it at Welsh Fire, every single second of it. The staff have been really supportive, they’ve been great over the last month. And I don’t want to play 50-over cricket!
“I’m really, really excited. I’m going to really miss it. I’m going to be really sad – but it’s right, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking about it for ages.”
Alex Hartley is to retire from professional cricket.
Hartley made 32 England appearances and was a World Cup winner in 2017
All the best, Alex!^(
— England Cricket (@englandcricket)^(
Sophie Ecclestone’s emergence as the country’s leading left-arm spinner cost Hartley her place, and she lost her central contract in late 2019. She continued to represent Thunder in regional cricket and Manchester Originals in the first season of the Hundred, before joining Fire in 2022.
Fire play their final group game against Northern Superchargers on Tuesday afternoon. If they win and Southern Brave lose to Manchester Originals on Wednesday, Fire will qualify automatically for Sunday’s final; otherwise, they will play in Saturday’s eliminator.