Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis announced his retirement from Test cricket on Wednesday. Du Plessis had played the last of his 69 Tests in Pakistan earlier this month.

With no Test matches in the immediate future for South Africa, du Plessis wants to “walk into a new chapter” and save his energy primarily for the T20Is, keeping in mind the two World Cups scheduled in 2021 and 2022.

“It has been a year of refinement in the fire for us all. 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,” du Plessis captioned his Instagram post.

“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. Every high and low has shaped me into the man I am proud to stand up as today. In all things, those instances worked towards the good of who I believe I am today.”

Du Plessis, now 36, made his Test debut against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 2012, when he struck an epic unbeaten 110 from 375 balls in the second innings to salvage a heroic draw for the Proteas. South Africa went on to seal the series with victory in the subsequent Test at the WACA.

Overall, in 69 Tests, Du Plessis scored 4163 runs at an average of 40.02. He also smashed 10 tons and 21 half-centuries with 199 being his best score.

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