Shizuka Miyaji Announces International Retirement
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Japan Cricket’s most capped international player, Shizuka Miyaji, has announced her retirement from international cricket, but will continue her professional career for as long as opportunities arise.
The announcement comes just weeks before Miyaji will participate in the FairBreak Invitational 2023 to be held from the 3rd to the 16th of April in Hong Kong.
When making the announcement she said: “When I first started playing Cricket, I didn’t imagine that I would be fortunate enough to not only represent Japan but do so for 17 long years. I would like to thank the JCA for giving me the opportunity, the sponsors and coaches for their support, and my family for their encouragement.”
Miyaji, who made her debut for Japan on September 12th, 2006, has played 74 times for the Women’s Japan National team. During her career she took a Women’s National team record of 45 wickets while also scoring the second highest number of runs (663) for the team.
Among her many accolades, she was part of the bronze-medal winning team at the 2010 Asian Games, was selected for the team of the tournament at the 2017 Women’s World T20 EAP Qualifier and the best batter at the 2019 Women’s East Asia Cup. She has also won four Japan Women’s Player of the Year Awards.
Miyaji has a reputation for hard work and was rewarded with her persistence when she became the first Japanese cricketer to earn a professional contract in 2022 when she travelled to Dubai for the inaugural Fairbreak Invitational. She showed her quality with some outstanding performances playing with and against some of the best players in the world.
Talking about Fairbreak she said: “Although I have decided to end my career for Japan, I am looking forward to the challenge of playing in the FairBreak Invitational 2023 this April, and I hope you will all continue to support me.”
She added that her focus throughout the winter has been on the tournament in Hong Kong, and that she will think more about her next steps once that concludes.
While playing for Japan for many years, she has also contributed to the development of Cricket in Japan as a willing volunteer since her days as a university student.
She served in various roles in the Kansai region including Head of the JCA Kansai Branch which built the foundations for the Kansai Cricket Association, she has coached and managed for Uenomiya High School Cricket Club and Sano Junior Cricket Club, helping the development of youth pathways and players, and has actively taken part in various other development activities across the country.
The JCA would like to formally express our respect and gratitude towards Shizuka for her commitment, hard work and endless enthusiasm for the Women’s Japan National team and the development of cricket in Japan over the last 17 years. Her presence will be missed but we would like to wish her the best of luck for the future.