New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday announced that its wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling will retire from all forms of cricket after the England tour. The 35-year-old Watling made his debut as an opener in 2009 and has since established himself as a world-class wicket-keeper batsman and has made several records in the 73 Tests played so far.
New Zealand’s contract for the 2021-22 season is scheduled to be released on Friday, excluding Watling’s name, and was expected to make a big decision about his future. The wicketkeeper of Northern Districts thought of himself for some time, but then decided to retire. Watling has recently become the father of another child. He said, “This is the perfect time.”
Watling said, ‘It is a great honor to represent New Zealand, especially in Test cricket. The Test is the highest in the cricket game and enjoyed every moment of the game with the boys in white attire. After five days of fatigue, the lack of drinking beer in the change room with teammates will hurt me the most. I played with many veteran players and made many good friends. I also got a lot of help in my way, which I will always be grateful for. ‘
Talking about the World Test Championship final against India and the Test against England, Watling said, “Even though I have given this decision before the England tour, all my attention is focused on the upcoming three tests.” I will try to give my best performance in these matches. This tour is going to be challenging at many levels and we know as a team that if you want to be successful then you need to be the best in your game.
BJ Watling’s many records
Watling holds the record for the most test hunts from New Zealand. He has taken 249 catches (10 separate removals as a fielder) and 8 stumpings, the best number among the current wicketkeeper. Watling’s numbers in the bowler-wicketkeeper catch combination are superb. New Zealand’s top three in the record list are Watling-Tim Southee (73), Trent Bolt (55) and Neil Wegren (53).
Watling’s batting figures are also attractive. Watling has scored eight test centuries. Watling was involved in the highest run partnership for New Zealand for the fourth and fifth wickets. A 362-run partnership for the fourth wicket at Basin Reserve against India in 2014 with Brendon McCullum. Together they shared a 365 * run partnership for the fifth wicket with current captain Kane Williamson on the same ground against Sri Lanka.
The batsman became the 9th wicket-keeper to score a double century in the Watling Test and became the first wicket-keeper against England. Thanks to Watling’s innings, New Zealand defeated England in this match in November 2019. He added 261 runs for the seventh wicket in this match with Mitchell Santner. New Zealand coach Gary Stett praised BJ Watling.
Sted said, ‘BJ Watling is a great player and friend. He works hard to improve his game and always keeps the team ahead. You can see how much respect he has created among his teammates. People of the opposing team also praise his game. The records prove all about him and his role has been instrumental in the rise of the team over the past decade. His double century at Mount Mongunui is one of the best innings I have seen. ‘
If Watling plays all three tests on the upcoming tour, Adam will break Parore’s record. Parore is New Zealand’s wicket-keeper batsman with the most number of Test (67) players.