'Emotional' Neil Wagner announces shock retirement from international cricket ahead of Australia series

Updated - 27 Feb 2024, 12:54 PM

Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner. Image Credits: Twitter

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Two days before the start of the Test series against Australia, New Zealand fast-bowler Neil Wagner has surprisingly announced his retirement from red-ball cricket. The left-arm pacer announced the news in an emotional press conference on Tuesday (February 27).

Neil Wagner revealed that he decided to retire from Tests after a conversation with head coach Gary Stead following the two-Test series against South Africa earlier this month. Stead told the pacer that he would not be a part of the playing XI for the Australia Tests. He would not be playing the first Test before being released from the squad ahead of the second Test in Christchurch

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

“My teammates have always meant the world to me and all I’ve ever wanted to do was what was best for the team – I hope that’s the legacy I will leave. I’m looking forward to one final week in camp and will be doing everything I can to help prepare and support the boys,” he added.

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Neil Wagner’s career:

Hailing originally from South Africa, Neil Wagner moved to New Zealand in 2008 to play domestic cricket for Otago. 10 years later, he relocated to Papamoa to play for Northern Districts. After impressing in domestic cricket, he made his Test debut for New Zealand against West Indies in 2012.

He is retiring from Tests as New Zealand’s fifth-highest wicket-taker in the longest format of the game. The 37-year-old has picked up 260 wickets in 64 Tests with the help of nine five-wicket hauls. He was also a key member of the team that won the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021.

Neil Wagner could not represent New Zealand in the white-ball formats. While he has retired from international cricket, he will continue to ply his trade for the Northern Districts in the domestic arena.

New Zealand Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O’Rourke, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

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