Lizelle Lee

Lizelle Lee

Player Bio

Lizelle Lee, born on 2nd April 1992 in Ermelo, South Africa, is a name that resonates with power and precision in the world of women's cricket. With a right-handed batting style and a capability to bowl right-arm medium-fast, Lee has been a formidable force in the South African women's cricket team. Her journey in the international arena spanned from 2013 to 2022, during which she showcased her prowess as an opening batter. 

Early Life and Introduction to Cricket

Growing up in Ermelo, a town in South Africa, Lizelle's passion for cricket was evident from a young age. While the details of her early life and initial introduction to the sport are not extensively documented, her rise in the cricketing world speaks volumes about her dedication and talent. 

Lizelle's cricketing journey began in earnest with her domestic stints. She played for teams like Mpumalanga, North West, Somerset, Western Storm, Surrey Stars, and Melbourne Stars, among others. These domestic platforms provided her with the necessary exposure and experience, honing her skills and preparing her for the international stage.

Her talent didn't go unnoticed, and soon she was representing South Africa on the global stage. Lizelle made her mark in various formats of the game, from Tests to ODIs and T20Is. Her debut for the South African national team came in 2013, and she quickly established herself as a key player for the side.

One of the significant milestones in her career came in January 2022 when she was named the ICC Women's One Day International Cricketer of the Year. This accolade was a testament to her consistent performances and her ability to dominate opposition bowlers. However, in a surprising move, Lizelle announced her retirement from international cricket in July 2022, marking the end of an era for South African women's cricket.

While her international career was filled with numerous achievements, Lizelle's personal life also saw significant moments. In September 2020, she married her long-term partner, Tanja Cronje.  They welcomed their first child in 2022, adding another chapter to Lizelle's life outside the cricketing field.

In conclusion, Lizelle Lee's journey in the world of cricket is a tale of passion, dedication, and immense talent. From her early days in Ermelo to her rise as one of the leading cricketers for South Africa, her story serves as an inspiration for many budding cricketers worldwide. Her retirement might have marked the end of her international career, but her legacy in the sport will continue to inspire future generations.

 Domestic Career Highlights

Lizelle Lee's journey in the domestic cricket circuit has been nothing short of remarkable. Born in Ermelo, South Africa, on 2 April 1992, Lee began her domestic career playing for Mpumalanga during the 2007/08 season. Her prowess with the bat quickly caught the attention of many, leading her to represent North West from 2010/11 to 2018/19. 

Her talent wasn't just confined to South Africa. Lee expanded her horizons by participating in various international leagues. She played for Somerset during the 2015-2016 season and then for Western Storm in 2016. Her performances for these teams were commendable, further solidifying her reputation as a formidable batter. 

The Surrey Stars saw the potential in Lee and signed her for the 2017-2019 seasons. During the 2018 Women's Cricket Super League final, she showcased her explosive batting style by scoring a blistering 104 off just 58 balls, leading the Stars to a victory against Loughborough Lightning. This innings was a testament to her ability to change the course of a match single-handedly.

Lee's prowess wasn't limited to the English shores. She ventured into the Australian Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), representing the Melbourne Stars for three seasons. During her stint with the Stars, she amassed a commendable 1,100 runs in 40 appearances. One of her most memorable innings came during the 2018–19 WBBL season, where she scored a rapid 102 from just 56 balls. This was her third T20 century, marking her first in the WBBL.

Ahead of the 2020–21 WBBL season, Lee made a switch to the Melbourne Renegades. Her consistency and ability to score big runs made her a valuable asset for any team she represented. In 2021, she was drafted by the Manchester Originals for the opening season of The Hundred. Lee did not disappoint, emerging as the leading run-scorer for the Originals with 215 runs in the tournament. Her recent signings include Tasmania, Hobart Hurricanes for the 2022/23 season, and Trent Rockets for 2023.

 International Debut and Achievements

Lizelle Lee's international journey began in 2013 when she made her debut for the South African women's national cricket team. Her consistent performances in the domestic circuit paved the way for her inclusion in the national side. In March 2018, recognizing her contributions and potential, Cricket South Africa awarded her a national contract for the 2018–19 season.

During a series against Bangladesh Women in May 2018, Lee achieved a significant milestone by becoming the third player for South Africa Women to score 2,000 runs in WODIs. Her prowess in the shorter format was also evident when she was named in South Africa's squad for the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament held in the West Indies.

Lee's journey had its share of challenges. In February 2019, she had to be withdrawn from the South Africa squad due to fitness concerns. However, she bounced back later that year, scoring a crucial 75 off 48 balls against Pakistan, helping South Africa clinch the series 3–2.

Her ability to perform on big stages was evident during the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup. In a match against Thailand, Lee scored her first century in WT20I cricket, registering a quickfire 101 runs. This innings was recorded as the fastest century by a South African woman in Twenty20 cricket.

In February 2022, Lee was named in South Africa's squad for the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup held in New Zealand. On 31 March 2022, during a semi-final match against England, she achieved another milestone by playing in her 100th WODI match.

Lee's contributions to South African cricket have been immense. Her aggressive batting style, combined with her ability to anchor the innings, made her one of the most sought-after players in women's cricket. She announced to retire from international cricket in July 2022 marked the end of an illustrious career, but her legacy in the sport remains intact.

 Notable Performances and Milestones

Lizelle Lee's cricketing journey is adorned with numerous standout performances and milestones that have etched her name in the annals of cricket history. 

1. Maiden International Century: Lee's maiden international century came in 2014 during a One Day International (ODI) against Ireland. Her explosive 116 off 104 balls showcased her potential on the international stage early in her career.

2. Fastest T20 Century for South Africa Women: In the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup, Lee's 101 against Thailand not only marked her first century in WT20I cricket but also went down as the fastest century by a South African woman in the T20 format.

3. Leading Run-scorer in The Hundred: During the inaugural season of The Hundred in 2021, Lee emerged as the leading run-scorer for Manchester Originals, amassing 215 runs. Her consistency was a key factor in the team's performance throughout the tournament.

4. 100th WODI Appearance: A testament to her longevity and consistency, Lee played her 100th Women's ODI during the semi-final of the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup against England.

5. Prolific Run-scorer in WBBL: During her time with the Melbourne Stars in the Women's Big Bash League, Lee accumulated over 1,100 runs in just 40 appearances, marking her as one of the most consistent performers in the league.

These milestones, among many others, highlight Lee's significant contributions to the sport and her ability to shine on the biggest stages.

 Personal Playing Style and Strengths

Lizelle Lee's playing style can be best described as aggressive yet calculated. Her natural flair for the game is evident every time she steps onto the field. With a high backlift and a keen eye, she possesses the ability to dispatch the ball to all parts of the ground with ease.

Power Hitting: One of Lee's most notable strengths is her power-hitting. Whether it's lofting the ball over the boundary for a maximum or finding the gaps with precision, her ability to accelerate the innings has often been a game-changer for her team.

Versatility: While she's primarily known for her aggressive batting at the top of the order, Lee's versatility allows her to adapt her game according to the situation. Whether the team requires a steady approach or a quickfire innings, Lee has consistently showcased her ability to play both roles with aplomb.

Mental Toughness: Beyond her technical skills, Lee's mental toughness stands out. Her ability to bounce back from challenges, be it a dip in form or fitness concerns, showcases her resilience. This mental fortitude has played a pivotal role in her achieving numerous milestones in her career.

Adaptability: Having played in various leagues around the world, Lee's adaptability to different conditions and pitches is commendable. Whether it's the bouncy tracks of Australia or the turning pitches in the subcontinent, she has consistently demonstrated her prowess, making her a valuable asset for any team.

Her aggressive batting style, combined with her adaptability and mental strength, has made her one of the most revered names in women's cricket. As fans and followers of the sport, we can only look back and admire the legacy she has created.

 Legacy and Impact on Women's Cricket

Lizelle Lee's journey in international cricket has been nothing short of inspirational. Over the years, she has not only established herself as one of the leading batters in women's cricket but has also played a pivotal role in elevating the stature of the sport, especially in South Africa.

Her aggressive approach to batting, combined with her ability to consistently deliver under pressure, has made her a role model for many budding cricketers. Young players looking to make a mark in the sport can draw inspiration from Lee's dedication, hard work, and never-say-die attitude.

Beyond her individual achievements, Lee's impact on women's cricket in South Africa is profound. She has been a cornerstone of the national team for nearly a decade, playing a crucial role in some of the team's most memorable victories on the global stage. Her performances have not only brought laurels to the nation but have also inspired a new generation of female cricketers in South Africa.

While her decision to retire from international cricket in 2022 marked the end of an era, the legacy she leaves behind is immense. Future generations will look back at her career as a benchmark of excellence, dedication, and passion for the game.

When did Lizelle Lee make her international debut for South Africa?
Lizelle Lee made her international debut for South Africa in 2013.
Which domestic teams has Lizelle Lee represented?
Lizelle Lee has represented teams like Mpumalanga, North West, Somerset, Western Storm, Surrey Stars, Melbourne Stars, Melbourne Renegades, Manchester Originals, Tasmania, Hobart Hurricanes, and Trent Rockets in her domestic career.
What is one of Lizelle Lee's standout international performances?
One of her most notable international performances was her century against Thailand during the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup, which was the fastest century by a South African woman in T20 cricket.
What is Lizelle Lee's primary role in the team?
Lizelle Lee is primarily known for her aggressive batting, often opening the innings for her team.
When did Lizelle Lee retire from international cricket?
Lizelle Lee announced her retirement from international cricket in July 2022.