Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis on Wednesday announced his retirement from Test cricket, thus ending a nine-year career that started in November 2012. He clarified he is not retiring from ODI cricket yet and focussing on T20s.
du Plessis said that with two consecutive T20 World Cup tournaments coming up in 2021 and 2022, he is shifting his focus to the shortest format of the game.
“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. If someone had told me 15 years ago, that I would play 69 Test matches for South Africa and captained 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,” the 36-year-old wrote in a statement that he posted on his Instagram handle.
“The next two years are the 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 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,” he said.
He also clarified that he is not retiring from ODI cricket yet. “This does not mean that ODI cricket is longer in the plans. I’m just making T20 cricket the priority in the short term,” he said.
du Plessis made his Test debut on November 22, 2012 against Australia in Adelaide. He went on to score 4,163 runs in 69 Tests at an average of 40.02 with 21 half-centuries and 10 centuries. He also captained South Africa in 36 Tests between 2016 and 2020 with 18 wins, 15 losses and three draws.
He was part of the South Africa squad that recently toured Pakistan for two Test matches. He scored 17 and five in the second Test of the series, and the last match of his career, in Rawalpindi which ended on February 8.
“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 further said in his statement.
“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.
“To my coaches, teammates and support staff over the years, I would also like to give a note of thanks of course, to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to be able to represent and leady 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 concluded.