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Updated March 6th, 2024 at 16:11 IST

'Ross Taylor might know more than me': Kane Williamson on Neil Wagner's 'FORCED' retirement debate

NZ vs AUS: Kane Williamson has come out to clear the air after an ex-NZ cricketer alleged that the retirement of Neil Wagner was forced.

Reported by: Pavitra Shome
Kane Williamson responds to Ross Taylor's remark
Kane Williamson responds to Ross Taylor's remark | Image:AP/New Zealand Cricket/BCCI
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Neil Wagner recently shocked the world after announcing his retirement. The left-arm seamer called time to his International career after it was revealed that he will not be a part of the Australia Series at home. While new stars were given the chance to shine, Australia have remained rampant throughout the Tour as they wreak havoc and have remained undefeated against the hosts. But Wagner's retirement was something that stirred the pot, raising questions about why he called time so early. Ross Taylor sparked a new debate after he claimed that Wagner was forced to retire, but Kane Williamson has refuted the claims.

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Kane Williamson clears the air after Ross Taylor's 'forced retirement' remark over Neil Wagner erupts into controversy

Former Blackcaps star Ross Taylor sparked a massive debate after he claimed the retirement of pacer Neil Wagner was forced, and that there is distress in the Kiwi cricket camp. But Kane Williamson refuted Taylor's claims, saying that no one is forced to retire. Williamson shared his thoughts during a press conference ahead of the second Test match against Australia.

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"(Ross Taylor) might know more than me, I'm not sure. But I see guys that are giving everything, trying to get better as a team, trying to move the team forward and that's really a focus for us," Williamson said before NZ vs AUS 2nd Test.

“I’m not involved in those discussions, but from what I gather, he’s now retired. I don’t think anybody is forced to retire. I think 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," Kane Williamson mentioned.

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New Zealand's Neil Wagner celebrates with his teammates after taking a wicket | Image:: AP 

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. But, you know, the heart and soul and effort that he’s brought to the side and largely led through that for so long. It’s been incredible and it was quite a special week for that reason. I think he had a really amazing time," the former skipper added.

After Wagner was forced to take the field as a substitute despite retiring, the NZ pacer did a 'sush' celebration, putting his finger on the lips and pointing to the dressing room after taking a catch. Williamson explained what prompted him 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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Despite announcing his retirement, Neil Wagner made his presence in competitive action when he came out as a substitute fielder during the first Test match at the Basin Reserve. It led to him receiving a gracious reception from the crowd, but the home team could not conquer the Aussies.

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Published March 6th, 2024 at 12:01 IST

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