New Zealand’s Neil Wagner Retires From International Cricket

Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner (image: NZC)

New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner announced his retirement from international cricket on February 27, 2024. Neil Wagner made his international debut in June 2012 in a test match against West Indies at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Neil Wagner Retires From International Cricket

The left-handed bowler is one of the several South Africans who plies his trade for New Zealand. Neil Wagner played his last test in February 2024 where he bagged a couple of wickets and scored 33 runs in the side that defeated South Africa by 7 wickets.

Wagner said that the decision was not easy and that it had been “an emotional week” but it was clear it was the right time to move on.

“It’s not easy to step away from something you’ve given so much to and got so much out of, but it’s now time for others to step up and take this team forward,” he was quoted as saying in a New Zealand Cricket media release.

“I’ve enjoyed every single moment of playing Test cricket for the Black Caps and am proud of everything we’ve been able to achieve as a team.

The friendships and bonds built over my career are what I’ll cherish the most and I want to thank everyone who’s played a part in where I am today. My teammates have always meant the world to me and all I’ve ever wanted to do was what was best for the team – I hope that’s the legacy I will leave.

“I’d like to thank my wife Lana for her support in helping me be the man I am today and for helping bring our two little girls Olivia and Zahli and our boy Josh into the world.

“I’m looking forward to one final week in camp and will be doing everything I can to help prepare and support the boys.”

New Zealand coach Gary Stead praised Wagner for the unselfish approach he displayed throughout his career.

“Neil’s numbers are phenomenal, but I don’t think we can underestimate his contributions to the team when the chips were down and he found a way to create a wicket,” Stead noted.

“His accuracy, execution and tenacity has been instrumental in many of our great Test victories and he will always be remembered for his lion-hearted nature. Neil gave absolutely everything to the Black Caps and we are certainly going to miss his energy and ‘never give in’ attitude.”

It is worth mentioning that Neil Wagner is also a part of the New Zealand Test team that won the inaugural ICC World Test Championship title by defeating India by 8 wickets in Southampton in 2021.

New Zealand won the inaugural edition of WTC
New Zealand won the inaugural edition of WTC

In 64 Tests, Wagner has 260 wickets with a career-best of 7/39 in an innings. Notably, Wagner has ended his career as the fifth leading wicket-taker for New Zealand in men’s Tests.