Johannesburg: Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis on Wednesday announced his retirement from Test cricket. du Plessis said that he is shifting his focus to T20 cricket with two consecutive T20 World Cup tournaments coming up in 2021 and 2022.
"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 captained 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," the 36-year-old wrote in his statement.
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"The next two years are the 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 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," he said.
He also clarified that he is not retiring from ODI cricket yet. "This does not mean that ODI cricket is longer in the plans,. I'm just making T20 cricket the priority in the short term," he said.
du Plessis made his Test debut in November 2012 against Australia in Adelaide. He went on to score 4,163 runs in 69 Tests at an average of 46.32 with 21 half-centuries and 10 centuries. He also captained South Africa in 36 Tests between 2016 and 2020 with 18 wins, 15 losses and three draws.