“I don’t think anybody is forced to retire” – Kane Williamson denies Ross Taylor’s claims over Neil Wagner’s retirement
By SMCS - Mar 6, 2024 11:07 am
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New Zealand batter Kane Williamson has denied any claims of a forced exit for Neil Wagner, highlighting the veteran bowler’s remarkable career and contributions to the team. However, he said after Black Caps great Ross Taylor suggested that Wagner’s retirement from the international scene was “forced” on him. Notably, Wagner, 37, announced his retirement on the eve of the first test in Wellington after being told he was released from the squad.

neil wagner

In 64 tests, Neil Wagner took 260 wickets which came at an average of 27.57 with a strike rate of 52.7. Only Sir Richard Hadlee has a better strike rate in tests among New Zealanders who have taken over 100 wickets as well.

READ ALSO: Michael Vaughan praises Team India after series win over England

Speaking at a press conference, Kane Williamson, who alongside captain Tim Southee will play his 100th test match, said that he had not seen Taylor’s comments but added: “I don’t think anybody is forced to retire. I think last week, [Wagner] had a fantastic week reflecting on what was an incredible career, and we had some amazing moments in the dressing room and, you know, it didn’t all go perfectly obviously, an on-field performance would have helped.”

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson took the game away from India

“But it was so much more than that and he’s just done such incredible things for this team and we’ve seen the skill that he has and the numbers that everybody sees. But, you know, the heart and soul and effort that he’s brought to the side and largely led through that for so long. It’s been incredible and it was quite a special week for that reason. I think he had a really amazing time,” he further added.

While responding to Taylor’s claim of Wagner being overlooked for the Australia series, Kane Williamson stated: “I’m not involved in those discussions, but from what I gather, he’s now retired.”

However, Australia claimed the first test after beating New Zealand with ease at the Basin Reserve. New Zealand began day four on 111-3, trailing by 258 in their bid for a victory, and they were dismissed for 196 as Australia won by 172 runs as well.