South African wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen announces retirement from Tests

Klaasen, 32, played four tests between 2019 and 2023

Heinrich Klaasen Heinrich Klaasen of South Africa | AFP

South Africa wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen has retired from red ball cricket. The big-hitting right-hander's decision arrived not long after South Africa's Test coach Shukri Conrad hinted that he would form part of his plans in 2024.

"After a few sleepless nights wondering if I am making the right decision, I have decided to retire from red-ball cricket. Its a difficult decision that I have made because it is by far my favourite format of the game," Klaasen said in a statement on Monday.

"But for now a new challenge awaits and I am looking forward to it," he added. The 32-year-old, however, did not elaborate on what that challenge is.

Klaasen played four tests between 2019 and 2023, managing 108 runs at an average of 13.00, but was set to return to the team this year according to Conrad, Reuters reported. The plan was to give Klaasen a chance over struggling Kyle Verreynne.

Cricket South Africa's Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe confirmed Klaasen was still part of their white ball plans. "We look forward to seeing him excel in the white-ball arena and continue to make valuable contributions to South African cricket in the years ahead," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

South Africa recently lost opener Dean Elgar to test retirement, while others who have prematurely given up first-class cricket to focus on the T20 circuit include Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and David Miller. 

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