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On Last Day of Career, BJ Watling Gets Congratulated by Virat Kohli

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BJ Watling who is playing his last international game was congratulated by India skipper Virat Kohli. India are in a spot of bother but will try hard to save the game at Southampton against New Zealand. Meanwhile the skipper was the first to congratulate the veteran NZ player who is playing his last game. He had earlier announced that this would be his last international game for New Zealand.

South Africa-born Watling made the announcement ahead of the release Friday of the list of New Zealand Crickets 20 contracted players for the next season.

The 35-year-old Watling has been one of the unsung heroes of New Zealand’s recent rise through test ranks. He began in 2009 as an opening batsman and part-time wicketkeeper but became New Zealand’s preferred gloveman in tests when Brendon McCullum gave up that role in 2013.

From then on, he was an automatic choice for New Zealand teams. He scored 3,773 runs in 73 Tests at an average of 38.11 with eight centuries and 19 half-centuries. At the same time, he was responsible for a New Zealand record 257 wicketkeeping dismissals, including 249 catches.

Watling was not often seen in the shorter format, playing only 28 one-day internationals and five T20s.

Meanwhile Watling will look at coaching options once he hangs up his gloves at the end of the upcoming tour of England, the retiring New Zealand wicketkeeper said on Wednesday.Watling, 35, has been a fixture in New Zealand’s test team since his 2009 debut and will leave selectors with big shoes to fill as the country’s most successful wicketkeeper-batsman.Watling is planning a break with family when he returns from England, but suggested coaching was a long-term goal.

“It’s something I’m looking at,” Watling told New Zealand media.”The next six months or so I’ll just kind of wing it at this stage and I’ll start to look into what options I have after the game.”A quiet achiever, South Africa-born Watling holds the Black Caps’ record for test dismissals, with 257 as a wicketkeeper, including eight stumpings.

(With agencies)

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