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Neil Wagner Retires

Daemon

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I think we tend to think of him sometimes as someone who overachieved relative to his ‘skill’, but bowling accurate short stuff relentlessly is bloody difficult and definitely requires a tremendous amount of skill.

Total legend.
 

Swamp Witch Hattie

Cricket Spectator
famous = I've heard of them

famous Neils:

Neil Wagner (just to clarify, I don't mean the baseball player)

Neil Armstrong
Neil Young
Neil Diamond
Neil Kinnock
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil Simon
Neil Sedaka
Neil Finn

close but no cigar:

Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik Abel

famous Wagners:

Neil Wagner (still the cricketer)

Richard Wagner (he was a musical genius so we can forgive his surname's different sound)

Robert Wagner (rather spookily, Natalie Wood has the same initials as Neil Wagner (see below); after he retires, maybe Neil should devote himself to figuring out if Robert really did it)

Lindsay Wagner (maybe The Bionic Woman can force a confession out of Robert once Neil establishes his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt)

famous NWs:

Neil Wagner (yes, still the man of the hour)

Norbert Wiener (again, weird, as there's a connection between bionics and cybernetics!)

Noah Webster (I needed to look up the spelling of his name)

Nancy Wilson

Natalie Wood (her surname is used to make cricket bats)

Naomi Watts

famous people without a middle name:

Neil Wagner (this man is popping up everywhere)

Norbert Wiener (again)

Noah Webster (he made up for the missing word between his names by writing a book with thousands)

JK Rowling (birth name Joanne Rowling)

North West (Elon Musk would call her 315)

Abraham Lincoln

Albert Einstein (his father, Hermann, also did not have a middle name, and since Albert and Hermann were relatives, Einstein came up with relativity to make up for it)

Harry S. Truman (it was just an initial, it did not stand for a name!)
 

howitzer

State Vice-Captain
famous = I've heard of them

famous Neils:

Neil Wagner (just to clarify, I don't mean the baseball player)

Neil Armstrong
Neil Young

Neil Diamond
Neil Kinnock
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil Simon
Neil Sedaka
Neil Finn

close but no cigar:

Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik Abel

famous Wagners:

Neil Wagner (still the cricketer)

Richard Wagner (he was a musical genius so we can forgive his surname's different sound)

Robert Wagner (rather spookily, Natalie Wood has the same initials as Neil Wagner (see below); after he retires, maybe Neil should devote himself to figuring out if Robert really did it)

Lindsay Wagner (maybe The Bionic Woman can force a confession out of Robert once Neil establishes his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt)

famous NWs:

Neil Wagner (yes, still the man of the hour)

Norbert Wiener (again, weird, as there's a connection between bionics and cybernetics!)

Noah Webster (I needed to look up the spelling of his name)

Nancy Wilson

Natalie Wood (her surname is used to make cricket bats)

Naomi Watts

famous people without a middle name:

Neil Wagner (this man is popping up everywhere)

Norbert Wiener (again)

Noah Webster (he made up for the missing word between his names by writing a book with thousands)

JK Rowling (birth name Joanne Rowling)

North West (Elon Musk would call her 315)

Abraham Lincoln

Albert Einstein (his father, Hermann, also did not have a middle name, and since Albert and Hermann were relatives, Einstein came up with relativity to make up for it)

Harry S. Truman (it was just an initial, it did not stand for a name!)
These were three of the four I had ahead of Wagner, the other being Gaiman. Come to think of it, Simon is a great shout too.
 

trundler

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Wagner epitomised the term workhorse to me. Such a unique skillset and character. Lovable bloke too. Glad he'll always be remembered as an inaugural WTC winner.
 

SteveNZ

Cricketer Of The Year
Whoever said there'd be a Hadlee again before there'd be a Wagner summarised it perfectly, I reckon.

I can't think of another person in sport who willed themselves into greatness to the extent Neil Wagner did. It's so quintessentially Wags that he turned down the more lucrative county deals to bust arse in NZ and forge his path there. He was never going to fail, it was just never an option.

Unquestionably the worst prediction I've ever made on here is that Wags would struggle to cut it at international level. In my defense a) I stole that opinion from guys on the domestic circuit (like I used to do with most things) and b) the world had never seen a skiddy 135ish short left arm seamer who consistently gave Test batsmen the ****s. A mate was one of his five wickets in the over for Otago, and said the word was on the domestic scene that he was a crazy good reverse swing bowler (Wasim-esque) and quick enough to hurry up guys at that level, but fellow bowlers were getting ****ed off that Wags didn't even try to hit the seam and was scuffing it up for them. People felt he wasn't quick enough to trouble Test class batsmen, and that he'd wreak havoc on the ball for others. (funnily enough, I don't remember many reverse swing spells at all for NZ)

But none of us factored in his personality, his insane desire to be world class. Without Wags as that third seamer who could make something out of even the feather-iest of feather beds, allowed us to not need to have a top-class spinner in our side in most conditions, and refused to lie down at any time - or let his team mates do so - there's no way we have the success we did during his time. My favourite Wags moment was at Eden Park in 2014, when India were 222-2 chasing 407 and looking like doing it easy. Again, Wags just wills things to happen. He gets Kohli, then Dhawan to turn the tide back...then when India is threatening again at 7 down, he knocks over Dhoni and Khan. There's been plenty of others but that for me summed him up.

It sucks that he doesn't get the 'send off' that would be an ideal scenario, although that's owing to his personality. When you never know you're beaten, it cuts both ways - you're never beaten at your best, but when you're past your best you're incapable of recognising or accepting it. And fairytales can be overrated in sport, anyway. He retires as an absolute champion, one of his country's greatest of all time.
 
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kevinw

State Vice-Captain
Wagner was the Thomas Muller of international cricket. You couldn't quite see what he was good at but he was effective all the same.
 

Zinzan

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Btw, are we all assuming Wags got a slight push from the coach/selectors that he wasn't in consideration for the Aust series causing him to announce yesterday?
 

Zinzan

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Wags does sneak into my top 5 NZ seamers of all-time;

1) Sir Dick
2) Cowie (yes despite just 45 test wickets)
3) Bond (ditto to Cowie)
4) Boult
5) Wagner
 

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