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. Du Plessis played 69 Tests, scoring 4163 runs at an average of 40.02 including 10 hundreds and 21 fifties with the best score of 199 which came in the series against Sri Lanka. 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.
“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 respects. 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 the formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket,” Du Plessis said in his Instagram post. “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,” he added.
Graeme Smith reacts to du Plessis’ retirement
Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith on Wednesday said that with Faf du Plessis retiring, there would be a big gap in the Proteas Test side. “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,” said Smith in an official release.
“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 added.