Lizelle Lee recently spoke about her decision to retire from international cricket in the midst of the recently concluded tour from South Africa to England in an interview with the BBC. perplexed podcast.
In the interview, Lee alleges that her weight and appearance, not her physical condition, made her unfit to play, according to Cricket South Africa (CSA).
She also says that her weight is something she has struggled with for a long time and never received any support or help from CSA to overcome it.
read in daily hipster: “Questions after Proteas star batsman Lizelle Lee quits international cricket amid tour of England”
“I have never received any support from CSA with that. I mean they never asked me ‘what do you need? What can we do to help you lose weight?’ That’s something I’ve always done on my own,” Lee said in the interview.
Dr. Shuaib Manjra, CSA Medical Director, spoke with daily hipster on the support offered to all players, admitting that players would need to contact their respective medical consultants for support.
“We will offer them all the support they need, whether through Cricket South Africa or Saca (South African Cricketers Association) or their own team. We would provide whatever support they need,” Manjra said.
“Lizelle Lee, being part of the Proteas women’s team, she would have access to her physical trainer, they have a doctor on the team, they have a physical therapist on the team. Her first port of call would be to reach out to her team’s medical support.”
Lee has said that despite doing the required training, he has struggled with his weight for a long time.
“At the end of the day it’s what you eat, I train, I do my gym sessions. I do everything I need to do training-wise, but I don’t know, I struggle with my weight. It’s been that way for I don’t know how many years. It’s hard because emotionally it’s breaking me down.
“I got to the point of saying, ‘You’re not thinking about my cricket skills, you’re not thinking that I did the actual fitness to run, you’re just thinking about my weight and you don’t pick me then.’ Emotionally, that’s very draining and I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
As a woman, that breaks me. Probably one of the hardest things to hear is that you can’t play for a team because you’re too heavy.
Lee admitted that he did not meet the physical fitness requirements, which meant he would not have received a CSA no-objection certificate (NOC) to play in lucrative domestic leagues around the world.
On the verge of being dropped from the Proteas women’s team in England and being banned from playing in foreign leagues, Lee decided to retire.
“They were right to do that because it’s in our contract. Our contracts state that if you don’t meet the physical condition, they can withdraw your NOC.”
Lee went on to say that CSA made no effort to try to persuade her not to retire, while another unnamed player also failed a fitness test a week after her, but was promised a NOC.
“With all the NOC history, they were within their rights to do that and it’s 100% fine. The only thing that really affected me was a week after that the same thing happened to someone else and they told him they would make 100% sure his NOC would be fired because they didn’t want him to retire… When I brought them up about it, They kept telling me we’re not in the same boat,” Lee said.
Lee was asked to take a fitness test before the team’s tour of England, while in South Africa.
They asked him to weigh himself and take a skinfold test. She weighed herself and sent the results to the team doctor. Lee visited a biokinetic in her hometown of Ermelo for skinfold testing later that day, but did not weigh in again at the biokinetic.
“I’m not going to do it again because if it ends [the limit] I will not be eligible for the England tour.” She told the biokinetic that she herself had recorded her weight.
Read more in daily hipster: “Questions after Proteas star batsman Lizelle Lee quits international cricket amid tour of England”
She was subsequently selected for the tour and was retested upon arrival in England in early July, where, according to Lee, “her skin folds were down but the weight wasn’t even close to where I thought it would be.” “.
Lee, however, passed all the fitness tests to run.
When asked for an explanation about his weight, Lee confirmed that his weight had not been taken or confirmed by the biokenticist.
“The most important thing that caught me is that I did the fitness physically. I did the race I had to do. Basically, I’m fit to play,” she said in the interview.
“I had this conversation with them in Ireland, because they also dropped me in Ireland because of my weight, and I said ‘they’re going to drop me because of the way I look and how much I weigh’ and they said ‘no, we’re going to drop you because you failed. the fitness battery’”.
“I said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine, but if you break the fitness battery, what didn’t I do? I did the fitness, the run, but I didn’t do my weight. So, you’re letting me down because of the weight.’”
“As a woman, that breaks me. Probably one of the hardest things to hear is that you can’t play for a team because you’re too heavy.”
Manjra pointed to the CSA fitness parameters and said he could fail the weight tests and still be eligible to play.
“The fitness test is not based solely on weight; It is based on a number of parameters. You must meet a very low threshold of 60% to pass the test. You have a score made up of different parameters, weight is one of them.”
“The only test you have to pass is the 2km time trial, not the weight. If you pass the 2km time trial and the other tests then you are fine, but weight is not the only criteria. It’s a composite score set at a low 60% level that you have to pass to be eligible for selection,” he said.
Good for the goose…
Lee has questioned the fitness requirements, believing he can produce performances on the field for the national team.
“Skill-wise, I’m not going to lose that because I’m fit. I can still do the job. Yeah, I don’t look like I need to, I know. Personally, I know that I don’t see myself as an athlete; That doesn’t mean I can’t do my job. I looked like this last year and I had a brilliant year.”
Lee was awarded the International Cricket Council’s 2021 One Day International Player of the Year award.
“I don’t feel good about myself, I don’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore because I don’t like how I look. That happens because every time I’m in camp it’s always about my weight. Emotionally, it just breaks a person down,” she said.
“I actually spoke to our team doctor before I was dropped off in Ireland. I was like, ‘what do you want me to do? Put my finger in my mouth before the test?
“This has been going on for a few years, only in the last year has it gotten much worse. What they don’t always understand is, especially when you’re on tour, that you don’t have the facilities that you have at home.”
Lee also cautioned against comparing the women’s Proteas team to the men’s team, stating, “They all look like athletes.”
“But at the end of the day, you can’t win [only] with a fit team. You have to win [with] a team that can score runs, take wickets and be excellent on the field.
“I’m not saying don’t look at fitness standards, I think there should be fitness standards, but I think there are certain ways of looking at things like weight and skinfolds, especially with women who have periods and all that. kind of things that go along with women.
Manjra confirmed to daily hipster that fitness tests are done on a player-by-player basis. “It depends on each individual. The weight characteristics of each individual are evaluated separately.
“Weight is part of a battery of tests… You could potentially fail your weight test and still potentially pass your fitness test. Unless you fail so terribly that it affects your composite score,” he said.
Had Lee not retired and possibly received an NOC, he would not have been able to play in national leagues around the world and subsequently would not have received a large portion of his annual income.
“Probably one of the reasons I had to decide to withdraw is to make sure we don’t have that [debt] plus. The Hundred’s salary is a little more than my annual salary at CSA, not counting match fees and World Cup prize money,” he said.
When Lee made her international debut in 2013, only a few members of the Proteas women’s national team were contract players.
“We have done well in recent years, especially with our [national] retainers, it has gone up… before that, there was no money, there was no contract. I made decisions, I studied and after studying there was [no contracts].”
Lee is a qualified teacher.
“How was I supposed to survive without a salary and wanted to play cricket? I made loans, I did what I had to do to survive at the time.
“The Hundred came in, the Super League before The Hundred, Big Bash, when I got all those things, there were all those things that I needed to pay for.
“That’s what people don’t understand. Yes, we make a lot of money now, a lot of money in our eyes, but they don’t understand what happened before. It’s three, four years of debt that I had to pay. There will always be a financial factor.”
Lee will join the Manchester Originals at The Hundred, England’s franchise competition, in early August for the second year in a row.
She has also been signed by the Hobart Hurricanes in Australia’s national T20 league, the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
Despite being only 30 years old, Lee has confirmed that he doesn’t see himself coming out of retirement any time soon.
“At the moment, as things stand, no. I think the management needs to be changed, some people need to change. There has to be fairness across the board and I don’t think that will change overnight,” she stated.
Lee retires as South Africa’s top run scorer in international T20s and second-highest run scorer in ODIs. MD