Sarah Taylor: England wicketkeeper retires from international duty due to anxiety

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Sarah Taylor opens up about anxiety issues

England’s Sarah Taylor has retired from international cricket because of her ongoing battle with anxiety.

Regarded as one of the world’s best wicketkeepers, Taylor, 30, is also second on England women’s list of run-scorers with 6,533 international runs.

“This has been a tough decision but I know it’s the right one, for me and for my health moving forward,” said Taylor.

“I am extremely proud of my career. I leave with my head held high.”

Taylor, who took a previous break from the game in 2016, was a part of England’s World Cup-winning teams of 2009 and 2017, scoring 396 runs in the latter tournament at an average of 49.50.

She played in three victorious Ashes series and was named as the best T20 player in the world three times by the International Cricket Council.

Nobody in the history of the women’s game has effected more dismissals across all three formats than Taylor (232).

“Playing for England and getting to wear the shirt for so long has been a dream come true and I have been blessed with so many great moments throughout my career,” said Taylor.

“From making my debut in 2006, to Ashes wins, and of course the World Cup final at Lord’s, to name just a few.

“To be right in the thick of women’s cricket as it’s gone from strength to strength – not only in England, but across the world – has been an amazing experience, and I can look back on what women’s cricket has achieved with great pride at playing some small part in it.”

Clare Connor, the managing director of women’s cricket, said Taylor should be “immensely proud” of her achievements.

“Sarah is someone young people can look up to, for her achievements and talent on the pitch – but also for her bravery and resilience off it,” said Connor.

“She has come through significant adversity and performed on the world stage for her country.

“She has become a powerful voice within women’s sport and I’m sure she will make a success of the next stage of her professional life.”

What is anxiety?

The NHS website describes anxiety as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.

Although most people experience these feelings at some point in their life, some people find it hard to control their worries and those feelings of anxiety can often affect their daily lives.

Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including:

  • panic disorder
  • phobias, such as agoraphobia or claustraphobia
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • social anxiety disorder (social phobia)

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common condition, estimated to affect up to 5% of the UK population.

Slightly more women are affected than men, and the condition is more common in people from the ages of 35 to 59.

For help and support on mental health visit the BBC Advice pages.