New Zealand wicketkeeper B.J. Watling to retire

·1 min read

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman B.J. Watling has announced he will retire from all cricket after the World Test Championship final against India in England next month.

South Africa-born Watling made the announcement ahead of the release Friday of the list of New Zealand Cricket’s 20 contracted players for the next season.

The 35-year-old Watling has been one of the unsung heroes of New Zealand’s recent rise through test ranks. He began in 2009 as an opening batsman and part-time wicketkeeper but became New Zealand’s preferred gloveman in tests when Brendon McCullum gave up that role in 2013.

From then on, he was an automatic choice for New Zealand teams. He scored 3,773 runs in 73 tests at an average of 38.11 with eight centuries and 19 half centuries. At the same time, he was responsible for a New Zealand record 257 wicketkeeping dismissals, including 249 catches.

Watling was not often seen in the shorter format, playing only 28 one-day internationals and five T20s.

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