Sunday 7 March 2021
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Faf du Plessis, former South African captain, retires from Test cricket

The veteran batsman refused to rule ODI cricket out of the picture, saying he intends to continue in the 50-over format too

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Sports Faf du Plessis, former South African captain, retires from Test cricket

One of the greats of the South African cricket team, Faf du Plessis, has announced his retirement from Test cricket. He announced the decision before reporters on 17 February after being out of form on South Africa’s Pakistan tour. Du Plessis said that he wanted to finish his career in the longest format of the game against Australia; however, since the series was cancelled, he decided to hang up his boots.

Faf du Plessis released a statement on social media, announcing the big decision. In the statement, du Plessis said he wanted to continue playing in the shortest format of the game, especially considering the year 2021 and 2022 will feature T20 World Cups. The senior batsman refused to rule ODI cricket out of the picture, saying he intended to continue in the 50-over format too.

“It has been a year of refinement in the fire for us all. Uncertain were the times, but they brought clarity for me in many respects. My heart is clear and the time is right to walk Into a new chapter. It has been an honour to play for my country in all the formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket,” du Plessis wrote in his retirement statement.

“If someone had told me 15 years ago, that I would play 69 Test matches for South Africa and captain the side, I wouldn’t have believed them. I stand in a place of utmost gratitude for a test career full of blessings bestowed on me. Every high and low has shaped me into the man I am proud to stand as today. In all things, those instances worked towards the good of who I believe I am today.”

“The next two years are ICC T20 World cup years. Because of this, my focus is shifting to this format and I want to play as much of it as possible around the world so that I can be the best player I can possibly be. I strongly believe that I have a lot to offer to the Proteas in this format. This does not mean that ODI cricket is no longer in the plans, I’m just making T20 cricket the priority in the short-term,” wrote Faf du Plessis.

“I will be in conversation with CSA over the next couple of months on what the future might look like for me over the next year to find a solution that works for both of us.

“For now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who had an influence on my Test career. I would like to single out my wife and family in particular – I would not have been able to do without their support during the unforgettable journey that Test cricket has taken me on, To my coaches, teammates and support staff over the years, I would you like to give a note of thanks and of course, to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to be able to represent and lead my country in the pinnacle of the game we all love. It has been an incredible journey, with many stories that I look forward to one day sharing.”

Faf du Plessis had made his bow in Test cricket back in November 2012 against Australia and played his last match in the purest format of the game against Pakistan in Rawalpindi. He had an incredibly poor outing with the bat in Pakistan, registering scores of 10, 23, 17 and 5.

Overall in the format, Faf du Plessis scored 4,163 runs at an average of 40.02 with 10 centuries and 21 half-centuries to his name. He does not have a double ton to his credit in Tests, falling short of just 1 run in an innings where he scored 199 against Sri Lanka at Centurion last year. He represented the Proteas in a total of 69 Tests.

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