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Major! New Zealand Cricketer Neil Wagner Announces Retirement

Reports suggest that Wagner received news of his exclusion from the upcoming Test series through selectors, prompting his decision to retire. The unexpected announcement has left cricket fans in shock following the team's disappointing performance against Australia.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Feb 27, 2024 19:24 IST
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New Zealand Cricketer Neil Wagner Announces Retirement

In a surprising turn of events, New Zealand’s cricket star, Neil Wagner, has decided to retire from international cricket after a notable 12-year career. The announcement follows New Zealand’s recent 3-0 defeat by Australia in the T20 series on their home turf. Reports suggest that Wagner received news of his exclusion from the upcoming Test series through selectors, prompting his decision to retire. The unexpected announcement has left cricket fans in shock following the team’s disappointing performance against Australia.

Stellar Career and Test Records

South Africa-born Neil Wagner, a stalwart of New Zealand’s cricket team, has called time on his illustrious career, playing 64 tests for the nation. He leaves as the fifth-highest wicket-taker in New Zealand’s test history, boasting an impressive tally of 260 wickets at an average of 37.

Decision Before Australia Test

Wagner’s decision to retire comes on the heels of the news that he likely wouldn’t be part of New Zealand’s lineup for the upcoming test against Australia. The first test is set to commence at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Thursday, marking the end of Wagner’s journey in the five-day format.

Read More: IND Vs ENG: Virender Sehwag Takes A Dig At England After Series Defeat

From South Africa to New Zealand: A Key Player in NZ’s Success

Making his test debut in 2012, Wagner played a pivotal role in one of New Zealand’s most successful cricket eras. Notably, he contributed significantly to the team’s victory in the inaugural World Test Championship in 2022. Having relocated from South Africa to New Zealand in 2008, Wagner quickly established himself in first-class cricket with Otago province.

Unconventional Bowling Style and Notable Performances

In recent years, Wagner adopted a unique strategy of continual short-pitched bowling, drawing both praise and criticism from fans. However, the approach undeniably yielded results, with New Zealand winning 34 of the 64 tests in which he participated. Wagner’s strike rate of 52 is second only to Richard Hadlee among New Zealand bowlers with over 100 wickets.

Emotional Farewell and Career Highlights

One of Wagner’s standout moments was his instrumental role in bowling New Zealand to a one-run victory over England at the Basin Reserve last year. Reflecting on his retirement, Wagner expressed mixed emotions, acknowledging the difficulty of stepping away from a game that has meant so much to him.

Coach Gary Stead and Team Acknowledgment

New Zealand coach Gary Stead lauded Wagner’s phenomenal contributions, emphasizing his ability to shine when the team faced challenges. Wagner’s accuracy, execution, and tenacity were highlighted as crucial elements in the team’s success. Stead expressed that Wagner’s departure leaves a void in the team, praising his “never give in” attitude and unwavering energy.

First published on: Feb 27, 2024 08:20 AM IST

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