South Africa's Du Plessis retires from tests to focus on T20 World Cups


FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Third International Twenty20 - South Africa v England - Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa - December 1, 2020 South Africa's Faf du Plessis in action REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has announced his retirement from tests to make Twenty20 International cricket his priority with successive World Cups in the next two years.

Middle-order batsman Du Plessis, 36, was the most senior member of the South Africa test squad that lost the recent series 2-0 in Pakistan, and finishes with an average a shade over 40 after 69 matches, with 10 centuries and 21 fifties.

"My heart is clear and the time is right to walk into a new chapter," Du Plessis said in a statement on Wednesday. "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.

"The next two years are 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.

"This does not mean that ODI (One-Day International) cricket is no longer in my plans. I am just making T20 cricket the priority in the short term."

Du Plessis made his test debut against Australia in Adelaide in 2012, scoring 78 and a memorable 110 in the second innings, in which he faced 376 deliveries on a wearing wicket to help South Africa secure a draw in a series they won 1-0.

He captained the side in 36 tests but gave up the armband in February 2020 after a string of poor results.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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