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BJ Watling+ retires

Flem274*

123/5
i need a bj watling poster on my bedroom wall.

one of my favourite cricketers ever. i deathrode the guy so much early in his career, and he's made me taste it the most of any cricketer in history.

it's been a privilege to watch him play.
 

The Hutt Rec

International Regular
Gotta say I was always annoyed he was discarded fairly quickly as a specialist batsman ... rated the guy highly from the start, and thought in limited opportunities he showed he had the grit to make a success of things at the top level. Had no idea if he was a decent keeper or not when he was initially picked in that role, but was stoked he was back in the side. Should never have doubted him, because he applied that same determination to his keeping and was as good behind the stumps as he was in front of them.

Absolute legend of NZ cricket already and one of the first picked in an all-time test side. Sad because it feels like an important cog has left our best ever test side, but glad I got to see him play. :)
 

Moss

International Regular
Think it was John Wright who envisioned and seriously pushed for Watling as the long-term wicketkeeper batsman ahead of the others. Given his issues with the management Wright was never likely to stay long enough as coach, but this is one thing we can thank him for.

Was sceptical of the decision to play a non-regular gloveman, but really I can't remember NZ not winning a test because Watling kept badly. Add to that his well documented output with the bat (his improvement against spin from when he started out was quite something) he gave NZ a real package. Big shoes for Blundell, Cleaver etc. to fill.
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
Gotta say I was always annoyed he was discarded fairly quickly as a specialist batsman ... rated the guy highly from the start, and thought in limited opportunities he showed he had the grit to make a success of things at the top level. Had no idea if he was a decent keeper or not when he was initially picked in that role, but was stoked he was back in the side. Should never have doubted him, because he applied that same determination to his keeping and was as good behind the stumps as he was in front of them.

Absolute legend of NZ cricket already and one of the first picked in an all-time test side. Sad because it feels like an important cog has left our best ever test side, but glad I got to see him play. :)
Yeah I remember thinking McIntosh + Watling were a great pair
 

kaetor

U19 12th Man
i need a bj watling poster on my bedroom wall.

one of my favourite cricketers ever. i deathrode the guy so much early in his career, and he's made me taste it the most of any cricketer in history.

it's been a privilege to watch him play.
I asked the missus if we could get BJ posters on the wall and she seemed horrified....

I'll miss him, but if there's any time for him to leave this is it, NZ keeping stocks are very strong at the moment. I initially always thought he was a stop-gap keeper, and I think it was only 4-5 years ago I accepted he should be the lower order keeper bat than the opening bat the ND fan in me wanted him to be. He's a real match winner, always felt confident when he came out to bat in a tough situation.
 

SteveNZ

International Captain
That's the thing about BJ, he'd never say it but I would absolutely believe the fact that there is a ready-made replacement in Blundell ready would form part of his decision too. He's the sort of guy who would probably hang on if his importance to the side was a lot stronger. Obviously family forms a part of it (huge part potentially) but given he only really travels for Test cricket, he could have as easily just retired from all short forms and been at home a fair bit.
 

kaetor

U19 12th Man
I think he would have also made a good one day batsman if the game hadn't evolved as it did. Back when 225 - 250 could be a competitive score most matches, a guy who can reliably score at 80SR would have been valuable. Nowadays, with 350 being a normal score there's just nowhere to fit him in.

I'm excited to have Blundell back to the lower order. Asked to do a tough job jumping in as opening bat and did a hell of a job considering, very talented player and keeper. I'm still a wee bit sad we may never see Dane Cleaver play for NZ.
 

tony p

U19 Captain
As an Australian I can say he is probably my favourite NZ cricketer. A match was never over until he was got out.
Was surprised when I read this today, but at least he made the decision himself, and he wasn't pushed out.
 

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