Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson. Photo: PTI

Kane Williamson on Wednesday rubbished the suggestion made by former batter Ross Taylor that ace New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner was “forced to retire” before the start of the two-Test series at home against Australia.

Wagner made an emotional announcement of his international retirement on the eve of the first Test at Wellington after he was told by the selectors that he would not be considered in the playing XI at any stage in the Test series.

The 37-year-old Wagner, however, took the field as a substitute fielder in the first Test which the Kiwis lost by 172 runs. He also carried drinks on a few occasions.

Addressing a media conference alongside incumbent captain Tim Southee, since the pair will be appearing in their 100th Test together, Williamson said he has not seen the comments made by Taylor.

“I don’t think anybody is forced to retire. 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,” Williamson was quoted as saying by NZ Herald.

“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,” he added.

“It’s been incredible and it was quite a special week for that reason. I think he had a really amazing time,” Williamson said.

Taylor suggested in a podcast on ESPNCricinfo that by the look of it, Wagner seems to have been forced into retirement.

“I think it all makes sense a little bit now. There’s no sugarcoating it: I think it’s a forced retirement. If you listen to Wagner’s press conference, he was retiring, but it was after this last Test match (against Australia). So he did make himself available,” Taylor said.

Williamson, meanwhile, declined being part of such discussions in the Kiwi camp.

“I’m not involved in those discussions, but from what I gather, he’s now retired,” Williamson added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mar 06 2024 | 4:45 PM IST


Source link