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South Africa’s Faf du Plessis retires from Test cricket

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 03: Faf du Plessis of South Africa talks to the media during his press conference during a One Day International Series Media Opportunity at Perth Stadium on November 03, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)
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South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis has announced his retirement from the Test cricket on Wednesday.

He had played 69 Tests for South Africa, captaining his country in 36 Tests and scoring 10 Test centuries.

The first of those hundreds came in a memorable debut against Australia at Adelaide Oval. Curbing his naturally attacking instincts, he scored a gritty and unbeaten 110 off 376 deliveries to salvage a draw, allowing South Africa to seal a series victory in the following match.

It was the kind of resilience that would come to define his Test career.

He would later become the only South Africa captain to lead his side to Test series victory over Australia both home and away.

The 36-year-old bows out of the format with an average of 40.02 and a high score of 199.

That high score came just two months ago as he helped South Africa to a total of 621 against Sri Lanka at Centurion.

Du Plessis will continue to be available for national selection in limited overs cricket.

“It has been a year of refinement in the fire for us all,” du Plessis said in a statement posted on social media. “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.

“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 career full of blessing 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.

“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 I have a lot to offer 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 team.

“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 like to give a note of thanks and of course, to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity 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.”

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