Faf du Plessis, the former South Africa captain, has announced he is retiring from Test cricket. Du Plessis considers this as the right time to ‘walk into a new chapter’ and revealed he wanted to retire following the now-cancelled Australia Test series but has no regrets.

“My heart is clear and the time is right to walk into a new chapter,” Du Plessis wrote on Instagram while attaching a statement explaining his sudden call to end his Test career that began in November 2012. “It has been a year of refinement in the fire for us all. Uncertain were the times, but they brought clarity for me in many respects.

He continued “My heart is clear and the time is right to walk into a new chapter. It has been an honour to play for my country in all the formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket. If someone had told me 15 years ago, that I would play 69 Test matches for South Africa and captain the side, I wouldn’t have believed them.”

The 36-year-old Du Plessis played 69 Tests and scored 4163 runs at an average of 40.02 with 10 centuries and 21 half-centuries. The Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi thus became his final appearance for South Africa in Test whites.

He also led in 36 Tests after taking over the captaincy from AB de Villiers in 2016

“I stand in a place of utmost gratitude for a Test career full of blessings bestowed on me. Every high and low has shaped me into the man I am proud to stand up as today. In all things, those instances worked towards the good of who I believe I am today,” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis now wants to focus on T20 cricket with back-to-back world cups scheduled for 2021 and 2022. He will be available for selection for both ODIs and T20Is though.

“The next two years are ICC T20 World Cup years. Because of this, my focus is shifting to this format and I want to play as much of it as possible around the world so that I can be the best player I can possibly be,” he said. “I strongly believe that I have a lot to offer to the Proteas in this format. This does not mean that ODI cricket is no longer in the plans, I’m just making T20 cricket the priority in the short-term.

“I will be in conversation with CSA over the next couple of months on what the future might look like for me over the next year to find a solution that works for both of us.”