New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman, BJ Watling has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket following the Black Caps’ tour of England in June. The Blackcaps contract was due to be announced on Friday and now Watling’s name will certainly have to be removed from the Central Contracts List.
BJ Watling made his Test debut for New Zealand way back in the year 2009 and he has been a member of the side in 73 Test matches so far. Watling had been pondering over his commitment towards international cricket and now, he has decided to call it time on his illustrious cricketing career.
BJ Watling Announces Retirement From International Cricket
“It’s the right time,” said Watling, who has recently become a father for the second time. “It’s been a huge honour to represent New Zealand and in particular wear the Test baggy. Test cricket really is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve loved every minute of being out there in the whites with the boys.
“Sitting in the changing rooms having a beer with the team after five days’ toil is what I’ll miss the most.
“I’ve played with some great players and made many good mates. I’ve also had plenty of help along the way for which I’ll always be grateful,” BJ Watling said.
“My wife Jess has been a constant source of stability and support and I’m certainly looking forward to being able to spend more time with her and the kids. I also owe a big thanks to my mum for steering me in the right direction early on and always being there for me.
“Although I’ve had to make this announcement ahead of the tour to England, my focus is very much on the three Tests ahead and preparing to perform in them.
“This tour will be a challenge on a few levels and we know as a team we will need to be at the very top of our game if we want to succeed,” BJ Watling further said.
Watling Has Had An Illustrious Career
Watling holds the record for the most Test dismissals for New Zealand with 249 catches (excluding 10 as a fielder) and eight stumpings – the best numbers of any current Test keepers. He has also smashed eight Test centuries and he records for the fourth and fifth-highest partnerships: 362 with Brendon McCullum against India at the Basin Reserve in 2014, and 365* with current captain Kane Williamson against Sri Lanka at the same ground a year later.
New Zealand and England will collide in a two-match Test series beginning from June 02 this year. New Zealand will then play India in the final of the ICC World Test Championship which is scheduled to take place from June 18-June 22 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton.