New Zealand quick Neil Wagner retires from international cricket

New Zealand quick Neil Wagner retires from international cricket
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Wellington, Feb 27:  Fast bowler Neil Wagner has announced his retirement from international cricket, bringing down the curtains on a 12-year-old Test career during which he played 64 Tests, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said on Tuesday.

Wagner revealed the news on the eve of New Zealand's two-match Test series at home against Australia. The 37-year-old will not be in the starting XI for the first Test at the Cello Basin Reserve and will be released from the squad ahead of the second Test in Christchurch.

He will finish his career fifth on the list of New Zealand’s top Test wicket-takers with 260 wickets, at an average of 27. Wagner won 32 of his 64 Tests, and claimed 143 wickets at an average of 22 in those victories.

The left-arm pacer debuted for the BlackCaps in 2012 and was a key member of the side during their ascent to the number one ICC Test world ranking and victory in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in 2021.

Wagner said the decision to retire was not an easy one, but it was clear the time was right to move on.

"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 was quoted by NZC.

"I’ve enjoyed every single moment of playing Test cricket for the BLACKCAPS and am proud of everything we’ve been able to achieve as a team. The friendships and bonds built over my career are what I’ll cherish the most and I want to thank everyone who’s played a part in where I am today.

"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 said.

He collected a total of nine five-wicket hauls during his Test career, with career-best figures of 7/39 coming against the West Indies in Wellington at the end of 2017.

Wagner will be acknowledged at the Cello Basin Reserve during the first Test and further celebrated at the ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards in Christchurch on March 13, the NZC said.

He will remain available for his Major Association Northern Districts, and confirmed his intention to continue playing next season - whether in New Zealand or overseas.

(The content of this article is sourced from a news agency and has not been edited by the ap7am team.)

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