HomeCricketNeil Wagner, who has played 64 matches in his Test career, has...

Neil Wagner, who has played 64 matches in his Test career, has announced his retirement from international cricket

New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner bids goodbye to Intentional Cricket

Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner, has announced his retirement from international cricket (Photo: ICC)

Veteran fast bowler Neil Wagner announces retirement from International Cricket

Wellington, February 27, 2024 – In a press conference, New Zealand’s veteran fast bowler, Neil Wagner, has announced his retirement from international cricket, having played 64 Test matches in his international Test career. The decision comes on the eve of New Zealand‘s two-match Test series against Australia, where Wagner learned that he will not be a part of the playing eleven for any of the matches against Australia.

Neil Wagner, 37, confirmed the news during an emotional press conference at Wellington’s Basin Reserve, expressing the difficulty of walking away from the game that has been an important part of his life. The left-arm bowler finished his Test career as the fifth highest wicket-taker for New Zealand, leaving behind a legacy of 260 wickets in his Test career.

Wagner said in his retirement, “It’s been an emotional week. It’s not easy to walk away from something that you’ve given so much to and that you’ve gotten so much from, but now it’s time for others to step up and help this team.” It’s time to move forward.” Shows the depth of his feelings.

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From South Africa to Kiwi stardom

South African-born cricketer who moved to New Zealand in 2008 to pursue his cricket career, and made his Test cricket debut in 2012 against the West Indies. His illustrious career has included memorable performances, with his career best of 7/39 coming against the West Indies in Wellington in late 2017. Wagner was instrumental in New Zealand’s historic win in the final of the ICC World Test Championship against India in 2021, contributing three important wickets in the match.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead praised Wagner for his extraordinary contribution to the team, both in terms of his statistics and his steadfast spirit on the field. Stead highlighted Wagner’s accuracy and tenacity, saying, “Neil’s numbers are phenomenal, but I don’t think we can underestimate his contribution to the team when the Kiwis needed it most, and he had a way of taking wickets. Found it.”

New Zealand team will miss Wagner

Wagner’s retirement has left a void in New Zealand’s bowling attack, but he has expressed confidence in the team’s ability to move forward. “Now is the time to pass that baton on and leave that Black Cap in a good place for the rest of the guys to take over and hopefully carry on his legacy,” he said.

Throughout his Test career, Wagner’s bowling average of 27.57 and remarkable strike rate of 52.7 demonstrated his effectiveness as a leading bowler for New Zealand. Retiring was a difficult decision for Wagner, but he stressed the importance of leaving the team in a strong position for the future.

As Wagner bids goodbye to the international cricket scene, the cricket fraternity and fans are left to reflect on the remarkable career of a bowler who consistently gave his all for the Black Caps. The upcoming Test series against Australia takes on even greater significance as New Zealand not only battle their trans-Tasman rivals but also play to honor the legacy of one of their legends, Neil Wagner.

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