Updated March 6th, 2024 at 17:21 IST

'It doesn't look great': Kane Williamson speaks out on Neil Wagner's 'Sush' to NZ dressing room

Neil Wagner stirred a controversy after he did a 'sush' celebration, putting his finger on the lips and pointing to the dressing room when he took a catch.

Kane Williamson and Neil Wagner | Image:ICC/AP
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Neil Wagner, the New Zealand bowler, announced his retirement from international cricket just before the first Test match against Australia last Thursday. His press conference was filled with emotion as he bid farewell to his cricketing career. Wagner, who concluded his tenure as the fifth-highest wicket-taker in Tests for New Zealand, leaves behind a notable legacy. 

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Kane Williamson on Neil Wagner's ‘sush’ to dressing room

However, shortly after his retirement, former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor caused a stir by characterizing Neil Wagner's decision as "forced". Taylor said that Wagner was retiring but it was after the Test series against Australia. New Zealand and Australia are currently locked in a two-match Test series, the second game of which is slated to start on March 8. 

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Meanwhile, Neil Wagner took the field as a substitute fielder during the first Test match despite retiring from international cricket. The New Zealand pacer stirred a controversy after he did a 'sush' celebration, putting his finger on the lips and pointing to the dressing room when he took a catch on the field. 

Kane Williamson, who addressed the media after the match, explained what prompted Neil Wagner to do so.

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"Those guys (Tim Southee and Wagner) are great mates and have been and will continue to be," Williamson said.

"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 concluded.

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Kane Williamson also rubbished the suggestion made by former batter Ross Taylor that Neil Wagner was ''forced to retire'' before the start of the two-Test series at home against Australia.

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''I don't think anybody is forced to retire. Last week, (Wagner) had a fantastic week reflecting on what was an incredible career, and we had some amazing moments in the dressing room and, you know, it didn't all go perfectly obviously, an on-field performance would have helped,'' Williamson was quoted as saying by NZ Herald.

''But it was so much more than that and he's just done such incredible things for this team and we've seen the skill that he has and the numbers that everybody sees.

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''But, you know, the heart and soul and effort that he's brought to the side and largely led through that for so long,'' he added.

'It's been incredible and it was quite a special week for that reason. I think he had a really amazing time,'' Williamson said.

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(With PTI inputs)

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Published March 6th, 2024 at 17:02 IST