Former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis on Wednesday announced his retirement from the longest format of the game.
Du Plessis, who recently featured in the two-match Test series against Pakistan, represented South Africa in 69 fixtures of the longest format of the game.
The former South Africa skipper amassed 4163 Test runs with an average of 40.02. He also hit 10 centuries and 21 half-centuries in the longest format of the game.
Du Plessis didn't' have a good outing with the bat in Pakistan. He scored 55 runs in four innings as South Africa faced a crushing 2-0 defeat in the Test series.
"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 said in 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 mon I am proud to stand as today. In all things, those instances worked towards the good of who I believe I am today," he added.
The right-handed batsman, who plays for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the India Premier League (IPL), wants to focus on the two upcoming T20I World Cups slated to be held in India and Australia respectively.
"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'm just making T20 cricket the priority in the short-term," said Du Plessis.
"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," he added.
Du Plessis thanked each and everyone person who supported the former South Africa skipper during the journey.
"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," said Du Plessis.
"To my coaches, teammates and support staff over the years, I would also like to give a note of thanks and of course, to Cricket South Africa for the opportunity to be able 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," he added.
Du Plessis had made his Test debut against Australia at Adelaide in November 2012. He scored an impressive 78 in the first innings and hit a valiant century in the second essay to help South Africa draw the Test against Australia.
( With inputs from ANI )
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