New Zealand registered an unforgettable victory in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final at Rose Bowl in Southampton against India. What better way could the Black Caps wicketkeeper BJ Watling could he conclude his international career.
The 35-year old announced last month, ahead of the release of the 20-player New Zealand squad for the next season, that the WTC Final, his 75th Test, would be his last game before his retirement from international cricket.
“It’s been a lot of hardwork for a long time for our team as a group. And to get over the line like that, was pretty satisfying,” BJ Watling said post the match.
“Some of us were up top and a few down at the bottom, and it was fantastic that we finished it off with two of our greatest on the pitch on a pitch that was still doing a bit. The WTC is extremely exciting for the game. It puts a big onus on the Test game, and I’m pretty stoked. I’d like to thank my family back home. My mum has been a huge help through tough times. My wife Jess, two boys, Miller and Hudson. It’s been a long time away from home. We’ve had a pretty special group, and I’m extremely happy to end it on a high.”
Although he couldn’t contribute much through his batting, Watling took some impressive catches in the WTC final to put India in a tight spot. He dismissed the wickets of India skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, despite a dislocated finger.
Arguably the finest wicketkeeper-batsman to play for New Zealand, BJ Watling made his debut in the international circuit in 2009. He started playing for New Zealand as a part-time wicketkeeper but soon earned the role as a mainstay.