Lizelle Lee has acknowledged that she did not match the CSA’s fitness standards. This was the reason for her sudden retirement from international cricket. In an interview with the BBC’s Stumped podcast, Lee disclosed some facts.
She said that she was on the verge of being dropped from South Africa’s current tour of England. The reason is her failure at some components of the fitness test. Hence the no-objection certificate to play in foreign leagues would have been rejected. She made the decision to stop competing for the national team. Later it turned out that they eliminated the requirement for NOCs to play for T20 franchises.
Lee received an email the next day, July 6, informing her that she will be removed from the squad. Lee and CSA exchanged emails in which CSA also threatened to utilise its right to refuse Lee a NOC for league play. This will be until she “met and maintained workload and fitness requirements.”
Lee was worried that she wouldn’t receive a NOC in time for The Hundred, which would have significant financial ramifications. She had recently become a parent. “It was a lot of money,” she said.
“We needed it. We’re a young family. So I just said I was going to retire.”
Lee accused CSA of failing to offer her any resources to help her lose weight. “I never got any support from CSA with that,” she said. “They never asked me ‘what do you need, what can we do to help you lose weight. That’s something that I have had to do on my own,” CSA has denied that assertion.
The CSA withheld these facts due to Lee’s gender. Some officials cited their awareness of the delicate nature of body-image issues affecting women as their justification for doing so. Lee urged a thorough reexamination of the fitness test procedure, particularly for female candidates.