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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Old warhorse Neil Wagner announces his retirement from Test cricket at 37

The left-armer made his decision after being told that he would not be picked in the playing XI in the upcoming two-Test series against Australia

Our Bureau, AP/PTI Washington Published 28.02.24, 10:19 AM
A teary-eyed Neil Wagner announces his retirement on Tuesday, ahead of the first New Zealand-Australia Test in Wellington.

A teary-eyed Neil Wagner announces his retirement on Tuesday, ahead of the first New Zealand-Australia Test in Wellington. Getty Images

The hard-working and durable New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner has announced his retirement from Test cricket at 37.

The South Africa-born Wagner played 64 Tests for New Zealand and will finish fifth on New Zealand’s list of all-time Test wicket-takers with 260 at an average of 27.57.

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The left-armer made his decision after being told that he would not be picked
in the playing XI in the upcoming two-Test series against Australia.

The first Test against Australia begins on Thursday at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, while the second will be played in Christchurch from March 8.

Wagner made his Test de­but in 2012 and was a key figure in one of New Zealand’s most successful eras, helping the team win the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021. He moved from South Africa to New Zealand in 2008.

New Zealand won 34 of the 64 Tests in which he played. His Test bowling strike rate of 52.7 is second only to Richard Hadlee (50.8) among New Zealand bowlers who have taken more than 100 wickets.

One of Wagner’s most notable performances was in bowling New Zealand to a one-run win over England after following on at the Basin Reserve last year. Wagner took 4/62, including the final wicket of James Anderson.

Also, in December 2020, in the Mount Maunganui Test against Pakistan, Wagner heroically returned to bowl even after fracturing his toe from a Shaheen Shah Afridi yorker on the second day of the game.

“It’s been an emotional week,” Wagner said on
Tuesday.

“It’s not easy to step away from something you’ve given so much to and got so much out of, but it’s now time for others to step up and take this team forward. I’ve enjoyed every single moment of playing Test cricket for the Black Caps and am proud of everything we’ve been able to achieve as a team.”

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