New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling has announced that he has decided to call it quits from his cricket career after playing for the Blackcaps in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. He would also be playing the two Tests of the New Zealand tour of England starting June 2 before facing India in the WTC finals set to be held between June 18 and 23.
“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 said about his decision to retire.
“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.”
In his 12-year long international career, the right-handed batsman has managed to put up an impressive statistical record. the 35-year old started with playing a Test against Pakistan at McLean Park in 2009 and has so far featured in 73 Test matches, amassing 3773 runs. He has played 28 ODIs with a total of 573 runs in his account. In his ODI debut, which was against Sri Lanka in 2010, he emerged as the top run-scorer of the team (55).
The top-order batsman has also played 5 T20Is. He has been a successful wicket-keeper for the team with 249 catches to his name.
Some of his career-defining knocks include his third Test ton (124) against India in 2014 in which he stitched an impressive partnership of 362 runs with Brendon McCullum. And another one of such knocks by him includes a hundred against England in 2015, which helped the team in securing a thumping victory.
BJ Watling a valued member of the BLACKCAPS: Gary Stead
BlackCaps coach Gary White heaped praises for Watling and said, “BJ is a wonderful player and a great bloke. He works really hard on his game to get improvements and always puts the team first. You just have to look at the respect he’s held in by his teammates and the opposition to appreciate his standing in the game.
“The records speak for themselves and he’s been such a crucial cog in the Test team’s rise over the past decade. That double hundred he scored at the Mount in 2019 was one of the best innings I’ve ever seen and epitomised BJ Watling as a player, really.
“The attitude and fight he brings to every day and every session of a Test is what has made him such a valued member of the BLACKCAPS. He is without a doubt one of our best ever wicket-keeper batsmen,” he added.
Throughout his career, Watling has been known as a disciplined and consistent player.