New Zealand’s test wicketkeeper Bradley John Watling to retire from all forms of cricket
New Zealand will play three test matches in England including World Test Championship and two against England. BJ Watling to retire after England tour,
Bradley-John Watling will be retiring from all formats of cricket after their two-match test series against England in England. New Zealand (NZ) will have large shoes to fill as BJ Watling is the best keeper for New Zealand. The South African born said it is the right time to retire.
BJ Watling has represented NZ in 73 test matches with 3773 runs at an average of 38.11 with the highest score of 205. He has scored eight centuries and 19 half-centuries. An illustrious NZ career included 249 catches and eight stumpings. Watling also represented NZ in 28 ODIs and 5 T20I.
In his domestic career, Watling played for Northern Districts, has played 91 First-Class matches, 62 T20’s and 90 List A matches. Watling made his debut in 2004.
In his announcement, he said it’s the right time and has enjoyed every moment of his career.
“It’s the right time,” Watling said of his announcement. “It’s been a huge honor to represent New Zealand and in particular wear the Test baggy. Test cricket really is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve loved every minute of being out there in the whites with the boys.
“Sitting in the changing rooms having a beer with the team after five days’ toil is what I’ll miss the most. I’ve played with some great players and made many good mates. I’ve also had plenty of help along the way for which I’ll always be grateful.”
Watling thanked his wife Jess and mother for their constant support.
“My wife Jess has been a constant source of stability and support and I’m certainly looking forward to being able to spend more time with her and the kids. I also owe a big thanks to my mum for steering me in the right direction early on and always being there for me.”
Current coach Gary Stead praised Watling for his contributions over the years.
“BJ is a wonderful player and a great bloke,” Stead said. “He works really hard on his game to get improvements and always puts the team first. You just have to look at the respect he’s held in by his teammates and the opposition to appreciate his standing in the game.
“The records speak for themselves and he’s been such a crucial cog in the Test team’s rise over the past decade. That double hundred he scored at the Mount in 2019 was one of the best innings I’ve ever seen and epitomized BJ Watling as a player, really.
“The attitude and fight he brings to every day and every session of a Test is what has made him such a valued member of the BLACKCAPS. He is without a doubt one of our best ever wicket-keeper batsmen,” he added.
NZC chief executive David White was also all praises for Watling’s performance with bat and gloves.
“BJ turned games around,” White said. “I can’t think of another player who reacted so positively, and who was successful in the face of adversity. His ability to wring every possible run out of the tail was unmatched; his work behind the stumps tireless and efficient,”
🗣📹 @B_Jwatling in his own words on retiring from all cricket after the @ICC World Test Championship Final in June against India. Watling will leave the game having represented New Zealand more than 100 times and @ndcricket 243 times. #WTC21 pic.twitter.com/isrgA6aoTy
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) May 11, 2021
“He has a quiet, unassuming and undemonstrative manner that belies the huge appetite he has for the contest and the challenge. BJ’s been a huge part of the success of the current BLACKCAPS team and on behalf of NZC, I want to wish him well for the upcoming Tests in England and life after cricket.”
The three most memorable innings of Watling include :
Match winning 205 England at the Bay Oval in 2019
124 against India in 2014 at Basin Reserve, in a mammoth 362 run partnership with Brendon McCullum.
142 against Sri Lanka in 2015 at Basin Reserve in a 365 run partnership with Kane Williamson.
New Zealand will play two tests against England from June 2 followed by the ICC World Test Championship Final against India from June 18, both to be played in England.