International Cricket

New Zealand wicketkeeper Bernadine Bezuidenhout retires from international cricket

New Zealand wicketkeeper Bernadine Bezuidenhout has announced her retirement from international cricket. She played four ODIs and seven T20Is for South Africa before switching over to New Zealand, whom she represented in 16 ODIs and 22 T20Is.

“It’s been such a great ride,” Bezuidenhout said in a New Zealand Cricket statement.

“Playing for the White Ferns has been a huge privilege and honour and it’s left me with the fondest memories. The journey has taught me so much and I’ll be forever grateful to everyone who has been on the path with me.”

Bezuidenhout made her international debut for South Africa in 2014. She relocated to Christchurch in 2015 and was first picked for New Zealand in early 2018 after the expiration of a two-year residential stand-down in August 2017. She played the T20 World Cup later that year, where New Zealand were knocked out in the league stage.

Bezuidenhout was diagnosed with RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport) and was out of the game for two years, making a comeback to New Zealand’s squad for the T20 World Cup in 2023. She has founded the non-profit, social enterprise The EPIC Sports Project Charitable Trust that aims to use sport to inspire hope and belonging in young people in high-deprivation communities and break barriers to participation in sport.

“I’m at peace with this decision but it wasn’t an easy one to make,” Bezuidenhout said. “I’ve struggled to find a balance between my work and playing career for a while now, and after a lot of thought and reflection I feel that it’s the right time to pivot and put my full focus on The EPIC Sports Project.”

Bezuidenhout played five of New Zealand’s six white-ball games at home against England earlier this year before being ruled out due to a hamstring injury in the final ODI.

“I want to thank Bernie for the contributions she’s made to the White Ferns on the field, and for the caring qualities she brought to the group off the field,” Ben Sawyer, the New Zealand head coach, said. “We’re proud of the work that Bernie does outside of cricket and I have no doubt she’ll continue to make a positive impact on the lives of many.”

Bezuidenhout will continue to play domestic cricket for Northern Districts.

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