Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith believes Faf du Plessis's retirement would leave a big void in the Proteas Test squad.
Earlier on Wednesday, du Plessis announced his retirement from Test cricket.
The right-hand batsman revealed that the reason for his Test retirement is to be able to divert all his focus to the next two T20I World Cups.
“Faf has been a prolific Test cricketer for the Proteas for a number of years now and to lose him in this format is going to leave another big gap in the team. His commitment to the team has always been undoubtable and his transparency with Cricket South Africa about his plans has always been appreciated and we respect his decision, knowing he would not have come by it easily,” Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith said in an official release.
Smith thanked du Plessis for his service to the nation's Test team.
“I would like to thank Faf on behalf of CSA for his years of service and dedication to the Proteas’ Test team and we look forward to engaging further with him on how he can continue contributing to the team in a meaningful way,” Smith said.
Faf du Plessis's Test numbers
du Plessis retired from Tests with 69 fixtures against his name, and amassed 4163 runs at an average of 40.02 in the process.
He also has 10 tons and 21 half-centuries under his belt in Test cricket.
“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 wrote on social media as he announced his Test retirement.
“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 man 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.
du Plessis to fully focus on next two T20I World Cups
The right-hander, who was the highest run-scorer for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at IPL 2021, revealed that he wants to divert his focus to the next two T20I World Cups scheduled to be held in India and Australia in 2021 and 2022 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 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,” du Plessis wrote in the post.