Neil Wagner’s retirement from international cricket marks the end of an era.

Neil Wagner’s retirement prompts reflection on the remarkable career of New Zealand’s Neil Wagner.

Neil Wagner has announced his immediate retirement from international cricket following the news that he would not be selected for the upcoming Test series against Australia.

The decision, which he described as emotional, came after discussions with coach Gary Stead last week, confirming his exclusion from New Zealand’s best XI for the Australia series. Wagner, 37, made the announcement alongside Stead at a press conference held at Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Wagner’s retirement comes after a career spanning 64 Tests for New Zealand, having originally moved from South Africa. He claimed 260 wickets at an average of 27.57, with a strike rate of 52.7. Only Sir Richard Hadlee boasts a better Test strike rate among New Zealand bowlers, with over 100 wickets.

While Wagner plans to continue playing domestic cricket, he felt it was the right time to step away from the international Test arena.

Reflecting on his decision, Wagner stated, “I knew the time was approaching. They sometimes say that when you think about retirement, you’re already halfway there. In the last week, upon reflection and considering the future Test matches, I felt it was the opportune moment to step aside and allow others to carry on the team’s legacy.”

Discussions about Wagner’s future with the Test side began after New Zealand’s series win over South Africa in Hamilton, which ultimately turned out to be Wagner’s final Test. Although initially not part of the preparations for the Australia series, Wagner was invited to join the squad for the first Test, despite not playing.

Expressing his gratitude for the gesture, Wagner said, “I wasn’t supposed to be here. I think it’s a fantastic gesture from the team… to have me down here and spend this time celebrating but also assisting in their preparation for the series against Australia.”

Stead acknowledged the difficulty of informing Wagner about his exclusion, describing the conversations as tough but necessary. He emphasized Wagner’s availability for domestic cricket, underscoring that his retirement pertains only to international cricket.

In a statement, Test captain Tim Southee praised Wagner as an exemplary team player, highlighting his unwavering commitment and the respect he commanded in the dressing room. Southee expressed anticipation for Wagner’s presence during the first Test against Australia and looked forward to celebrating his illustrious career thereafter.

Wagner reminisced about his favorite memories in Test cricket, including victories over India and England and the World Test Championship triumph against India. He also expressed gratitude to his family, friends, coaches, and mentors for their support throughout his journey.

In closing, Wagner hoped to be remembered as someone who gave his all for the black cap, emphasizing his love for the game and his dedication to representing New Zealand on the cricketing stage.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why did Neil Wagner retire from international cricket?

Neil Wagner announced his retirement from international cricket after learning that he would not be selected for the upcoming Test series against Australia. Following discussions with coach Gary Stead, Wagner made the emotional decision to step away from the international Test arena.

2. How many Tests did Neil Wagner play for New Zealand?

Neil Wagner played 64 Tests for New Zealand during his international career. He made significant contributions to the team’s bowling attack, claiming 260 wickets at an average of 27.57.

3. Will Neil Wagner continue playing cricket after his retirement from international matches?

Yes, Neil Wagner plans to continue playing domestic cricket despite his retirement from international matches. He remains committed to the sport and hopes to contribute to it at the domestic level.

4. What are Neil Wagner’s favorite memories from his Test cricket career?

Neil Wagner recalled several memorable moments from his Test cricket career, including victories over India, England, and the World Test Championship triumph against India. He also cherished personal achievements, such as batting alongside Ish Sodhi in a crucial match against England.

5. How did Neil Wagner express his gratitude upon retiring?

Neil Wagner expressed gratitude to his family, friends, coaches, and mentors for their unwavering support throughout his cricketing journey. He hoped to be remembered as someone who gave his all for the black cap, demonstrating his love for the game and dedication to representing New Zealand.

Conclusion

Neil Wagner’s retirement from international cricket marks the end of a remarkable career characterized by dedication, passion, and numerous achievements. As one of New Zealand’s most reliable bowlers, Wagner’s contributions to the team’s success have been invaluable. Despite the emotional decision to retire, Wagner remains committed to the sport and looks forward to continuing his cricketing journey at the domestic level. Cricket fans everywhere will cherish his reputation as a tough competitor and team player, and his influence on the sport will last for many years.

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