New Zealand legends counter each other over Neil Wagner's retirement

Neil Wagner announced his retirement from international cricket after being left out of the squad against Australia.

Neil Wagner with teammates?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
Neil Wagner is one of the greatest fast bowlers that New Zealand has produced.

New Zealand star batter Kane Williamson countered his former teammate Ross Taylor’s comments on the retirement of Neil Wagner. Wagner had retired from international cricket after he was told that he would not be selected for New Zealand’s Test series against Australia. But he was part of the squad for the first Test.

Kane Williamson claimed that nobody had been forced into retirement and reflected on last week’s moments with Wagner in the dressing room.

"I don't think anybody is forced to retire. I think last week, he had a fantastic week and it was reflecting on what was an incredible career. We had some amazing moments in the dressing room. It didn't go perfectly. Obviously, an on-field performance would have helped but it was so much more than that. He's just done such incredible things for this team,” Williamson said.

Williamson on Neil Wagner’s finger-on-the-mouth celebration

The star Kiwi batter also cleared the air around Wagner’s finger-on-the mouth celebration in Hamilton against South Africa. He termed it a friendly banter between Neil Wagner and captain Tim Southee.

"Those guys are great mates and have been and will continue to be. That was banter in the dressing room with Waggy and his fielding so he ended up putting him down at fine leg. So to get a catch was quite amusing. So Waggy took his opportunity. I think he thinks that obviously out of context (and) it doesn't look great, but it was a little bit humorous at the time and all the players understood the context," Williamson added.

Earlier, former NZ captain Ross Taylor was asked about Wagner’s finger-on-the-mouth celebration on ESPN's television show Around The Wicket. Taylor responded by saying, it is clear now that Wagner was forced to retire.

"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.

Kane Williamson later went on to claim that the environment in NZ dressing room was quite good despite the heavy defeat to Australia.

"Yeah, quite good. Something that we're always trying to improve and evolve as a team. And it's something we've tried to do for years. You always have different transitions and players come and go, support staff come and go,” Williamson said. 

“He (Taylor) might know more than me, I'm not sure. But I see guys that are giving everything, trying to get better as a team, trying to move the team forward and that's really a focus for us," Williamson added.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor formed many great partnerships together to win NZ a no. of matches. Both played a crucial role in New Zealand winning the World Test Championship 2021 final.

Also read: Former SRH spinner announces retirement to play in T20 leagues

New Zealand slumped to a 172-run defeat to Australia in the first Test at Wellington. Kane Williamson could not get a big score in both the innings and Black Caps batters could not reach 200 in any of the innings.

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