The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars take on England tonight in the one-day international Quadrangular Series Final at Wormsley and the match will double as Shelley Nitschke's last game for Australia.
The veteran all-rounder retires from international cricket at the peak of her game after six Tests, 78 ODIs and 36 T20s since making her debut in 2004 and leaves as the world's number one ranked all-rounder in women's cricket.
In a glittering career, Nitschke collected many personal accolades including 2010 ICC International Women's Cricketer of the Year and three (2009, 2010, 2011) Australian Women's International Player of the Year titles awarded at the Allan Border Medal, alongside team achievements such as the 2005 World Cup win and 2010 ICC World Twenty20 title.
Nitschke's coach and teammates all speak glowingly of the quiet star, giving an insight into their team mate in a video message here: http://www.cricket.com.au/news-display/Quad-series-final-Nitschke%27s-farewell/25133
Through all the personal milestones, Nitschke said it was the team highlights that made her time at the top level the most enjoyable.
"There are a couple of highlights that really stand out, those being the 2005 World Cup win in India and the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup victory in the West Indies which were are very memorable experiences and were great to be part of," the 34-year-old said.
"My plan has always been to go out when I was still playing well and on my terms. I'm happy with my career and achievements and the time feels right. I'm certainly not getting any younger!
"I have had a tremendous amount of support throughout my career from friends outside the game, coaches, teammates, my parents and my partner have always been really supportive and I thank them all for their help and advice along the way.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed representing my country and cherish every moment that I've had around the team and I wish them all the best.
"I'm now looking forward to getting back into full-time work, perhaps having some time to play other sports as well and having more time to spend with my family and friends," Nitschke said.
Acting CA Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown said Nitschke had been a wonderful player over a long period and will be sorely missed.
"Shelley Nitschke has been a standout all-rounder at world level for quite a few years now and her abilities with both bat and ball have greatly contributed to the success of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars," said Mr Brown.
"Her service for women's cricket in Australia has been outstanding both as a player and an advocate for the game.
"She has dedicated herself to cricket in the most professional way and her record at international level speaks for itself. She will certainly be sorely missed.
"Cricket Australia thanks and congratulates her on an outstanding career and the tremendous contribution she has given to Australian cricket."
If the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars win tonight and send Nitschke off on a winning note, they will also move up to number one in the ICC one-day international rankings and in turn, will be ranked number one in all formats.
Follow updates from tonight's Quad Series final against England via the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars Twitter account @_SouthernStars<http://twitter.com/#!/_SouthernStars> or live scores on the ECB website.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images