New Zealand's long-time wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling, who represented the side in 73 Tests so far, has announced his decision to retire from international cricket. Watling will retire from all forms of the game after the final of the World Test Championship against India, which takes place between June 18-22 in Southampton.
Watling said that he took the decision after careful thought and wants to spend more time with his family.
“I know the standards required to keep going at this game and the level and to be honest it’s tougher now with a little family at home. Things are busy,” Watling said.
“I know it’s time now and that I’m looking to other things and can spend a bit more time at home. It's a bit harder to put all that focus into something just cricket.”
"It's been a huge honour 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 said in a New Zealand Cricket release.
Watling, who predominantly represented the BlackCaps in the longest format of the game, has scored 3,773 runs in 73 Tests, slamming eight tons.
The 35-year-old made his Test debut in 2009 against Pakistan in Napier. Watling has also appeared for New Zealand in 28 ODIs, having last played in an international fifty-over format game in 2018. In addition, he played in five T20Is.
Watling is the highest run-scorer for New Zealand as a designated wicketkeeper-batsman (3,381 in 65 Tests), and 11th highest overall. He also holds the national record for most dismissals as a wicketkeeper (257).
The gritty wicketkeeper-batsman was involved in two of Test cricket's three highest partnerships for the sixth wicket; 352 alongside Brendon McCullum against India in January 2014 and an unbroken 365 with Kane Williamson against Sri Lanka a year later.