CSK opener and former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis retires from Test cricket: Former South Africa skipper and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Faf du Plessis took retirement from Test cricket on Wednesday. Du Plessis, who recently featured in the two-match Test series against Pakistan, represented South Africa in 69 fixtures of the longest format of the game. The former South Africa skipper amassed 4163 Test runs with an average of 40.02. He also hit 10 centuries and 21 half-centuries in the longest format of the game.
Notably, Du Plessis didn’t’ have a good outing with the bat in Pakistan. He scored 55 runs in four innings as South Africa faced a crushing 2-0 defeat in the Test series.
“It has been a year of refinement in the fire for us all. Uncertain were the times, but they brought clarity for me in many respects. My heart is clear and the time is right to walk into a new chapter. It has been an honour to play for my country in all the formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket,” Du Plessis said in his Instagram post.
“If someone had told me 15 years ago, that I would play 69 Test matches for South Africa and captain the side, I wouldn’t have believed them. I stand in a place of utmost gratitude for a test career full of blessings bestowed on me. Every high and low has shaped me into the mon I am proud to stand as today. In all things, those instances worked towards the good of who I believe I am today,” he added.
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The right-handed batsman, who plays for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the India Premier League (IPL), wants to focus on the two upcoming T20I World Cups slated to be held in India and Australia respectively.
“The next two years are ICC T20 World cup years. Because of this, my focus is shifting to this format and I want to play as much of it as possible around the world so that I can be the best player I can possibly be. I strongly believe that I have a lot to offer to the Proteas in this format. This does not mean that ODI cricket is no longer in the plans, I’m just making T20 cricket the priority in the short-term,” said Du Plessis.
“I will be in conversation with CSA over the next couple of months on what the future might look like for me over the next year to find a solution that works for both of us,” he added.
Also, Du Plessis revealed that he wanted to retire after playing Test series against Australia as the Proteas were due to face the side from down under in a three-match series starting later this month. But Cricket Australia opted to postpone the tour at the last minute due to Covid-19 concerns prompting Du Plessis to call time on his Test career.
“I really wanted to finish with the upcoming Test series against Australia. That would have felt like it has all come full circle. I had that clarity of mind and heart and even though the ending is not how I imagined, the clarity remains,” Du Plessis told Independent Media.
Du Plessis thanked each and everyone person who supported the former South Africa skipper during the journey.
“For now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who had an influence on my Test career. I would like to single out my wife and family in particular — I would not have been able to do without their support during the unforgettable journey that Test cricket has taken me on,” said Du Plessis.
“To my coaches, teammates and support staff over the years, I would also like to give a note of thanks and of course, to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to be able to represent and lead my country in the pinnacle of the game we all love. It has been an incredible journey, with many stories that I look forward to one day sharing,” he added.
Du Plessis made his Test debut against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 2012, where he scored an impressive 78 in the first innings and struck an epic unbeaten 110 from 375 balls in the second innings to salvage a heroic draw for the Proteas. South Africa went on to win the series in the subsequent Test in Perth.