Neil Wagner Retires from International Cricket: A Tribute to a Kiwi Fast Bowling Legend

Neil Wagner, the formidable left-arm pacer who has been a cornerstone of New Zealand’s cricketing success, has made the poignant decision to retire from international cricket.

The announcement comes following a heartfelt conversation with coach Gary Stead, where it was conveyed that Wagner wouldn’t feature in the upcoming series against Australia.

Neil Wagner Retires from International Cricket: A Tribute to a Kiwi Fast Bowling Legend

After being informed that he would not be selected for the forthcoming two-Test series against Australia that begins on Thursday, Neil Wagner declared his immediate retirement from international cricket.
After a difficult discussion with coach Gary Stead last week, during which it was confirmed that Wagner, 37, was not included in New Zealand’s starting XI for the forthcoming series against Australia, Wagner took the emotional choice. After being invited to be a member of the squad for the first Test, he announced his retirement on Tuesday during a news conference with Stead at Basin Reserve in Wellington.

After playing 64 Tests for his new nation after relocating from South Africa, he retires. With a strike rate of barely 52.7, he grabbed 260 wickets at a cost of 27.57. Among New Zealand bowlers who have taken over 100 wickets, only Sir Richard Hadlee has a higher Test strike rate.
Wagner believed that it was time to leave the Test arena, although he will still play first-class cricket.

Wagner stated, “I knew the time was nearing.” “Sometimes people say you’re kind of screwed when it comes to retirement. I was aware that the moment would arrive, and it would arrive soon. After thinking over the past week and the next Test matches, I decided it was time to stand aside and give the other men the opportunity to carry on our years-long tradition of success as a team while also clearly stepping up our offensive.

It’s never simple. The journey is emotional. It is quite the roller coaster. However, I believe that it is the right moment to hand the reins over and put the Black Cap in a favorable position so that the others can pick it up and perhaps carry on their legacy.”

Following New Zealand’s Test series victory over South Africa in Hamilton, which has turned out to be Wagner’s final Test match, he had a discussion with Stead over his future in the Test team. At first, Wagner was not going to be involved in any way in the lead-up to the Australia series, but the team nonetheless welcomed their lucky fast bowler, who wouldn’t play, to be present for the opening Test.

Neil Wagner Retires from International Cricket: A Tribute to a Kiwi Fast Bowling Legend

Wagner declared, “I wasn’t going to be down here.” “I think it’s a really nice way for the team… it was a really nice, kind gesture that they invited me to come down here and spend this time with them to celebrate it as well as help them prepare for the series against Australia.”

And I reasoned that it would be a fitting way for me to leave, carrying out my daily routine of coming here, being here with the team, smiling throughout, and helping the boys. That’s my true nature. It’s a really kind gesture, and I’m incredibly appreciative that Gary, the team, and everyone else asked me to do this.

Telling Wagner that he was not going to be included in New Zealand‘s future plans had proven to be tough, according to Stead.

“Very, very difficult talks to have,” Stead remarked. Neil comprehended. He expressed his gratitude for his time in the Black Cap, which I believe is really admirable of him. Neil, in my opinion, has needed some time to figure out what this means for him personally, and it doesn’t mean quitting everything.

He recently retired from international cricket, although he’s still eligible for domestic cricket. But these are very difficult talks. particularly considering the caliber of the man standing next to me and all of the things he has accomplished for the team.”

Wagner listed his favorite Test cricket memories as the World Test Championship victory over India, the one-run victory against England last year, the series victory over England in 2018 where he batted for 107 minutes on the final day in Christchurch, and his first Test victory over India in 2014.

“I will never forget walking out to bat with Ish (Sodhi) in that draw at Hagley, it came up on the screen, they were talking about it,” Wagner stated. “When Mark Richardson said that it had been nearly thirty years since we had last won a Test series against England, I realized that I was about that age. That gave me a lot of motivation to strive and accomplish what I achieved there. Ish and I managed to make it work. Being a part of that series was very unique.

“There’s no denying that the World Test Championship final is an unforgettable experience. It’s a really unique moment to savor. And last but not least, the test that was held here last year will undoubtedly live on in the annals of time.”

Wagner thanked his friends, coaches, mentors, and family for their support along the road, bursting into tears. He expressed his hope that the people of New Zealand will recall him as someone who sacrificed all for the cap.

“I’ve said this in the past, I never saw myself as the most talented or most gifted bloke going around in cricket,” Wagner stated. “I simply thought of myself as someone who wore my emotions on my sleeve and loved this game, this team, my friends, and that Black Cap. I am aware that I had to put in a great deal of effort and experiment with various approaches.”

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