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Neil Wagner retires from international cricket

Neil Wagner retires from international cricket

New Zealand’s fiery fast bowler Neil Wagner has announced his retirement from international cricket, concluding a remarkable 12-year Test career. Wagner, known for his relentless spirit and unique bowling style, featured in 64 Tests for the Black Caps, playing a pivotal role in their success, including the historic victory in the inaugural World Test Championship.

The decision to retire came after Wagner was informed that he would not be part of the playing XI for the Test series against Australia, starting in Wellington. As a result, he will be released from the squad before the second Test in Christchurch, marking the end of his international career. Wagner leaves the game with 260 Test wickets, ranking fifth on New Zealand’s all-time list, with a remarkable strike rate of 52.7, second only to the legendary Sir Richard Hadlee among New Zealanders with over 100 Test wickets.

Reflecting on his decision, Wagner stated, “It’s not easy to step away from something you’ve given so much to, but it’s the right time for me to move on. I’ve cherished every moment representing the Black Caps and am proud of what we’ve achieved as a team. The friendships and memories I’ve made are what I’ll hold dear, and I’m grateful to everyone who has been part of my journey.”

Wagner expressed his gratitude to his wife, Lana, and his children for their unwavering support throughout his career. He also thanked his teammates and the entire support staff for their contributions and camaraderie. Wagner’s dedication and selfless approach to the game have earned him respect and admiration from all quarters.

Originally from South Africa, Wagner moved to New Zealand in 2008 to pursue his cricketing career. He made his Test debut against the West Indies in 2012 and went on to become a key figure in New Zealand’s bowling attack. Known for his relentless work ethic and accurate bouncers, Wagner’s ability to bowl long spells on challenging surfaces made him a formidable force in Test cricket.

New Zealand captain Tim Southee praised Wagner, saying, “Neil’s commitment to the team was unmatched, and his influence will be deeply missed. He always gave his all for the team, and his dedication and passion were inspirational to us all.”

While retiring from international cricket, Wagner has confirmed his intention to continue playing domestic cricket for the Northern Districts. His legacy as one of New Zealand’s finest fast bowlers is secured, and he will be remembered for his unwavering commitment and contribution to the game.

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