Faf du Plessis retires from Test cricket

The South Africa batsman announces retirement on social media, to discuss with CSA his Proteas future in the next year.

Faf du Plessis served as captain for 36 Tests. - GETTY IMAGES

South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis has announced his retirement from Test cricket.

“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 formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket,” the 36-year-old wrote on Instagram.

In his statement, Du Plessis said he would shift his focus on the T20 format and enquire from Cricket South Africa what his future for the Proteas would be in the next year.

“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 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.

“I will be in conversation with CSA over the next couple of months on what the future might look for me over the next year to find a solution that works for the both of us,” he wrote.

 

Du Plessis, a former Proteas captain, played 69 Tests, the last of which was in Rawalpindi against Pakistan. He may have participated in the much anticipated Test series between South Africa and Australia which was cancelled as Australia pulled out of the tour due to health concerns.

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Du Plessis captained South Africa in 36 Tests from 2016 to 2020. He stepped down as captain exactly a year ago, handing over the reigns to Quinton de Kock.

He made his Test debut in Adelaide against Australia, under the captaincy of Graeme Smith. He scored 4163 runs in his Test career at an average of 40.02, with 10 centuries and 21 half-centuries. His highest Test score of 199 came two months ago in a Test in Centurion against Sri Lanka.

Smith, who is now Director of Cricket at CSA, 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 undoubtable 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,” he said.

Pholetsi Moseki, CSA Acting Chief Executive Officer said, “Faf is a shining testimony of what one can achieve if they commit to it. His patriotism to cricket, impeccable leadership qualities, coupled with his insatiable commitment to imparting knowledge to budding cricketers speaks volumes of the rich legacy that he leaves behind.

“Much as CSA is saddened to see him retire from the longest format of the game, we are however comforted by the fact that he will still be part of our system, where his immense contribution awaits.

“CSA would like to thank Faf for dedicating the better part of his life to cricket and making South Africa proud on and off the field. He has certainly earned himself a special place in our hearts and a favourable chapter in the ledgers of history.”

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