Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis on Wednesday announced his retirement from Test cricket. He took to his official Instagram account to confirm his decision.
"My heart is clear and the time is right to walk into a new chapter," du Plessis wrote, as he shared his statement.
"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 wrote in his retirement statement.
"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 coreer 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."
Du Plessis further said that he has taken the decision to retire from the longest format of the game to focus on the upcoming editions of the T20 World Cup in 2021 and 2022.
"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 to the 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," wrote du Plessis.
"I will be in conversation with CSA over the next couple of months on what the future might look like for me over the next year to find a solution that works for both of us
"For now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who had an influence on my Test career. I would like to single out my wife and family in particular - I would not have been able to do without their support during the unforgettable journey that Test cricket has taken me on, To my coaches, teammates and support staff over the years, I would you like to give a note of thanks and of course, to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to be able to represent and lead my country in the pinnacle of the game we all love. It has been an incredible journey, with many stories that I look forward to one day sharing."
Faf du Plessis appeared for South Africa in 69 Tests, scoring 4,163 runs at an average of 40. He scored 10 centuries and 21 half-centuries in his Test career, with the highest score of 199 against Sri Lanka, which came last year in December.