Heinrich Klaasen calls time on his Test career

Destructive wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen has decided to retire from Test cricket. Klaasen made his Test debut in 2019 against India at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi. His last Test appearance came in 2023, against the West Indies at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Klaasen played just four Tests, scoring 104 runs in eight innings at an average of 13.

He will continue to play white-ball cricket for the Proteas. The 32-year-old noted that Test cricket is his favorite format and his decision to retire is a very difficult one. He also explained how special the Test cap is to him.

“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 favorite format of the game. The battles that I faced on and off the field have made me the cricketer I am today. It has been a great journey and I am glad I could have represented my country. My baggy Test cap is the most precious cap I have ever been handed,” he said in a statement.

South Africa head coach Shukri Conrad indicated in February 2023 that he preferred Klaasen over fellow wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne because he felt that the Pretoria-born was a “better batter”. Klaasen played four innings against the West Indies and scored just 56 runs. Meanwhile, Verreynne finished third on the list of highest run-getters in South Africa’s first-class competition last season.

Klaasen was left out in the recent South Africa vs India series

In the recent Test series against India, Klaasen was left out, with Verreynne getting the nod as the first-choice wicketkeeper. Tristan Stubbs was the other wicketkeeper-batter selected in the squad.

When the squad was announced, Conrad said that Klaasen would likely feature in Tests later this year, in West Indies and Bangladesh. However, with the retirement decision, the 32-year-old has ruled himself out of contention for the upcoming red-ball assignments of the Proteas.

South Africa are scheduled to play just seven Test matches in 2024. Two away games each in West Indies and Bangladesh and as many at home against Sri Lanka and one against Pakistan. The Rainbow Nation will not host any Test series between January 2025 and September 2026.