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Du Plessis announces retirement from Test cricket, T20s become his priority

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Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis on Wednesday announced his retirement from Test cricket to focus on the shorter formats with T20 being his priority.

The 36-year-old made the announcement through a statement on his Instagram page.

“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 aspects. My heart is clear and time is right to walk into a new chapter,” du Plessis posted.

“It has been an honour to play for my country in all formats of the game but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket,” the cricketer added.

Du Plessis said his focus now shifts to T20 cricket but ODIs will also remain a part of his plans.

“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 I have a lot to offer to the Proteas in this format. This does mean that ODI cricket is no longer in the plans, I am just making T20 cricket priority in the short-term,” he said.

Du Plessis played 69 Tests, scoring 4,163 runs at an average of 40.02 — including 10 hundreds and 21 fifties.

He stepped down as South Africa’s Test and T20 captain last year after taking over from the charismatic AB de Villiers back in 2016. He captained the team is 36 Tests, winning 18 of them.

“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 man I am proud to stand up as today,” he added.

Du Plessis had wanted to say goodbye to the longest format after the home series against Australia scheduled later this month but it has now been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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 said.

“It has been an incredible journey, with many stories that I look forward to one day sharing,” he added.

Du Plessis thanked his family, coaches and Cricket South Africa for their support during his stint.

The right-hand batsman has so far player 143 ODIs for his country along 50 T20 Internationals. He averages over 47 in 50-over cricket and 35.5 in the shortest format. PTI


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