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NEW DELHI: Former New Zealand’s star batter Ross Taylor has raised speculation about fast bowler Neil Wagner‘s retirement, implying that it might have been compelled, indicating potential discord within the New Zealand cricket team.
Despite being informed that he wouldn’t feature in the playing XI for the series against Australia, Wagner emotionally declared his retirement in a press conference ahead of the first Test.
Interestingly, the 37-year-old Wagner did participate in the first Test as a substitute fielder and occasionally served as a drinks carrier.
“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. So he did make himself available,” Taylor said while speaking on ESPN’s Around the Wicket podcast.
“And to see that he isn’t selected … I think I do like and you do need to plan for the future, but a one-off Test against Australia in a must-win situation, I wouldn’t be looking much further than Neil Wagner. And I’m sure the Australian batters are sleeping easy that he’s not in the side,” Taylor added.
Just last week, Wagner concluded his illustrious 64-Test career, exiting the cricket scene as New Zealand’s fifth-highest wicket-taker, having claimed an impressive total of 260 victims.
Wagner was picked in the squad for the two home Tests against Pat Cummins‘s Australia but was told by head coach Gary Stead that he would not play in either match.
He fought back tears as he confirmed his retirement from international cricket alongside Stead.
Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, Wagner migrated to New Zealand in 2008 and played a key role in his adopted nation’s rise to the world No 1 ranking and the inaugural World Test Championship title win in 2021.
(With inputs from PTI)


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