South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen has announced his retirement from Test cricket on Monday, January 8, 2024. The 32-year-old played only four Tests for his country, scoring 104 runs at an average of 13. He made his debut in India in 2019 and last played against West Indies in 2023. He will continue to be available for selection in the limited-overs formats, where he has been a prolific performer for the Proteas.
Klaasen’s Test career in numbers
Klaasen’s Test career was short-lived, as he struggled to cement his place in the team. He was picked as a backup wicketkeeper for Quinton de Kock, who was also the captain of the Test side. Klaasen got his chance when de Kock was injured during the Ranchi Test in 2019, where he scored 6 and 5 in a heavy defeat. He then travelled to Australia in 2020, where he played in the Sydney Test and scored 22 and 35. His last two Tests were against West Indies in 2023, where he scored 3, 17, 0 and 16. He also took 10 catches and made two stumpings behind the stumps.
Klaasen’s Test career stats are as follows:
Klaasen’s decision to retire from red-ball cricket
Klaasen did not give a specific reason for his retirement from red-ball cricket, but he said it was a difficult decision to make. He said he loved the format and the challenges it posed, but he was ready for a new challenge. He thanked everyone who played a part in his red-ball career and said he was proud to represent his country. He also said his baggy Test cap was the most precious cap he ever received.
Klaasen posted a message on his Instagram account, where he wrote: “Still the same Me, with the same Name. Just a different mindset and a new game. After a few sleepless nights wondering if I am making the right decision, I have decided to Retire from RED Ball cricket. It’s a difficult decision that I have made because it is by far my favourite format of the game. The battles that I faced on and off the field has made me the cricketer I am today. It has been a great journey and I am glad I could have represented my Country. In my opinion it was the most precious Cap I have ever been handed. Thanks to everyone that has played a part in my Red Ball Career and Shaped me into the Cricketer I am today. But for now a new challenge awaits and looking forward to it.”
Klaasen’s future in white-ball cricket
Klaasen will continue to play white-ball cricket for South Africa, where he has been a key player in recent times. He has played 25 ODIs and 31 T20Is for the Proteas, scoring 782 and 677 runs respectively. He has also hit three ODI centuries and two T20I fifties. He is known for his aggressive batting and ability to finish games. He is also a handy wicketkeeper and a leader in the team. He captained South Africa in the T20I series against Pakistan in 2021, where he scored 81 and 86 in the first two matches.
Klaasen will be hoping to play a big role in the upcoming white-ball tournaments for South Africa, such as the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2025. He will also be in demand for various T20 leagues around the world, such as the IPL, the Hundred and the MLC T20.