South African star Faf du Plessis has decided to conclude his test career. He announced his retirement from the Test cricket on Wednesday, 17 February, just a few days following the shelving of Australia’s tour of South Africa due to the ongoing covid-19 crisis in South Africa.
Du Plessis came to limelight in his very first Test match appearance for South Africa with a match-saving fourth-innings century in Adelaide in 2012, and since then there was no turning back as he represented the country in 69 games.
Faf Du Plessis confirmed the decision of his retirement from the longest format of the game through a post on his official Instagram account writing, “My heart is clear and the time is right to walk into a new chapter.”
“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 as today. In all things, those instances worked towards the good of who I believe I am today.”
“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 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 team.”
“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.”
“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 like to give a note of thanks and of course, to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity 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.”
Du Plessis took over Test captaincy from Mr 360 and his childhood best friend AB de Villiers in 2016. He led his country in 36 matches before renouncing leadership last January after a defeat to England on home soil.
Amidst the ongoing speculation about his time ahead, as he ended 2020 with smashing 199 runs against Sri Lanka at Centurion, silencing those who questioned his ability. Faf ended his Test career with 4163 runs, scoring at an average of 40.02, including 10 centuries and 21 fifties. As the two T20 WCs are approaching, the South-African virtuoso has decided to give precedence to the shortest format of the game now.
CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith Commenting on his retirement said, “Faf has been a prolific Test cricketer for the Proteas for a number of years now and to lose him in this format is going to leave another big gap in the team.”
“His commitment to the team has always been undoubtedly and his transparency with Cricket South Africa about his plans has always been appreciated and we respect his decision, knowing he would not have come by it easily.”
“I would like to thank Faf on behalf of CSA for his years of service and dedication to the Proteas’ Test team and we look forward to engaging further with him on how he can continue contributing to the team in a meaningful way,” Smith finally concluded.