Neil Wagner, New Zealand’s Rapid Bowler, Bids Farewell to International Cricket


In a heartfelt announcement, Neil Wagner, the spirited paceman renowned for his fiery swing, has decided to draw the curtain on his illustrious 64-Test career. Wagner leaves behind a remarkable legacy as the fifth highest wicket-taker for his nation, claiming a total of 260 victims on the cricketing battlefield.

Although initially named in the squad for the upcoming two-Test series against Australia, commencing in Wellington this Thursday, Wagner received news from selectors that he would not grace either match, prompting his reflective decision.

Expressing his sentiments, the 37-year-old, originally from South Africa, confessed,

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.

Wagner’s impact on New Zealand cricket cannot be overstated. A beloved figure among fans, his left-arm bowling prowess played a pivotal role in propelling New Zealand to the summit of world cricket, culminating in their historic triumph in the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021.

Retiring with an impressive bowling average of 27.57 runs and a strike rate of 52, Wagner stands tall in the annals of New Zealand cricketing history, second only to Richard Hadlee (with a strike rate of 50) among Kiwi bowlers with over 100 Test wickets to their name.

In an emotional press conference held at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, Wagner, flanked by New Zealand head coach and selector Gary Stead, officially announced his retirement from the longest format of the game. While he intends to continue plying his trade in first-class cricket, Wagner believes the time is ripe to bid adieu to Test cricket.

Reflecting on his decision, Wagner remarked,

They sometimes say when you think about retirement, you’re screwed in a way. I thought it was the right time to step down and let the other guys come in and do what we’ve been doing as a group for a number of years and obviously grow that attack.

As Wagner passes the baton to the next generation of cricketers, he leaves behind a legacy adorned with sweat, toil, and unyielding determination, ensuring that the Black Cap remains a symbol of excellence for future generations to uphold and cherish.

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