On Tuesday, New Zealand wicket-keeper and lower-order batsman BJ Watling announced his decision to retire after playing the ICC World Championship Test (WTC) final against India.
Watling has featured in 73 Tests, 28 ODIs and 5 T20Is for the Black Caps.
The 35-year-old has been an indispensable part of the Kiwi squad and played a vital role in Kane Williamson and Co.’s rise to the top.
The official New Zealand Cricket channel posted a video on social media that had the veteran communicating his resolve to bid farewell to the game.
The video also featured a special moment when he became the first NZ wicketkeeper to hit a double ton against England at the Bay Oval in 2019.
Overall, the Northern Districts star has amassed 3773 runs in 73 Tests with eight hundreds.
Watling has also been a praise-worthy wicketkeeper for the island nation taking 259 catches (10 as an outfielder) and affecting eight stumpings in his career.
Announcing his retirement, Watling revealed the inexplicable pride he felt in representing New Zealand and his love for the game.
“It’s the right 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,” Watling stated.
The South Africa-born also thanked his wife and mother for always being supportive and shared the desire to spend more time with his family once he bids adieu to the game.
“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,” Watling asserted.
Talking about his preparations for the forthcoming series, Watling divulged that he is leaving no stone unturned and focused on the task.
“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,” the stalwart remarked.
Concluding the video, the New Zealand star admitted that his contingency would have to perform to the top of their bent to be victorious.
“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,” Watling expounded.
🗣📹 @B_Jwatling in his own words on retiring from all cricket after the @ICC World Test Championship Final in June against India. Watling will leave the game having represented New Zealand more than 100 times and @ndcricket 243 times. #WTC21 pic.twitter.com/isrgA6aoTy
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) May 11, 2021