New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling said his body is feeling good and the physical aspect of the game was not the reason behind him announcing retirement from competitive cricket. Watling, who recently became a father for the second time, said he took the decision to spend more time with his family.
BJ Watling, on Wednesday, announced he will be retiring after the England tour wherein New Zealand will play 3 Tests, including the World Test Championship final, starting June 18 in Southampton, against India. 35-year-old Watling has represented New Zealand in 73 Tests, 28 ODIs and 5 T20Is.
“I know the standards required to keep going at this game and the level and to be honest it’s tougher now with a little family at home. Things are busy,” Watling said, as quoted by Stuff.co.nz.
“Actually no, the body feels surprisingly good. A few years ago I would have said my body is going to play up and that will be it, but actually, I’m feeling quite fresh in the body. I think there’s a few other factors and spending some time at home will be the main thing.”
BJ Watling looking forward to coaching stints
BJ Watling has been one of the pillars of the current New Zealand side led by Kane Williamson. The 35-year-old played an integral role in their rise to the top, scoring 3773 runs, including 8 hundreds, in 73 Tests. A reliable wicketkeeper, Watling is known for battling hard by putting a price on his wicket in the lower-middle order.
The New Zealand wicketkeeper’s immediate plan is to spend time with his family in a well-deserved break but he is already looking at coaching as a long-term plan post-retirement.
“It’s something I’m looking at. The next six months or so I’ll just kind of wing it at this stage and I’ll start to look into what options I have after the game,” Watling added.
New Zealand will head to England later this month. They will play the Test-series opener at Lord’s, London from June 2 before heading to Birmingham for the 2nd Test, starting June 10.