South Africa stalwart Faf du Plessis has decided to bring down the curtains on his Test career. The 36-year-old made the announcement on Wednesday (February 17), a few days after Australia’s tour of South Africa was shelved because of the ongoing covid-19 situation in South Africa.
In a post on his official instagram account, Du Plessis confirmed his decision. “My heart is clear and the time is right to walk into a new chapter.”
Du Plessis turned heads in his very first Test appearance for South Africa with a match-saving fourth-innings century in Adelaide back in 2012, and went on to represent the country in 69 games.
“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 blessings bestowed on me.”
Du Plessis took over Test captaincy from his childhood best friend AB de villiers in 2016, and led the side in 36 matches before relinquishing leadership last January after a home series defeat to England.
Amidst speculation about his future, Du Plessis ended 2020 with a knock of 199 against Sri Lanka at Centurion, calling it a statement to his detractors. Du Plessis ends his Test career with 4163 runs in the longest format, scored at an average of 40.02, involving 10 centuries and 21 fifties.
With two T20 World Cups coming up, the veteran cricketer has decided to make the shortest format his priority for now. “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 am just making T20 cricket the priority in the short-term,” he wrote.