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OTD | Former New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling was born in 1985

OTD | Former New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling was born in 1985

South African-born former New Zealand international cricketer Bradley-John Watling was born on 9 July 1985. A right-handed batter and part-time wicketkeeper, BJ Watling represented the Black Caps in 108 international matches, scoring 4401 runs, before hanging up his boots in May 2021.

Born in Durban, Natal Province, Watling and his family moved to New Zealand when he was 10 years old. His time at Hamilton Boys’ High School will be remembered for winning the Gillette Cup twice and forging a record 200+ run partnership with Daniel Boughtwood.

Watling made his first-class debut for Northern Districts against Auckland in the 2004 State Championship. Notably, He was a part of the Under-19 team for the 2003-04 World Cup in Bangladesh. He made his List A debut against Wellington in the same year in the State Shield.

Watling emerges as strong contender to replace keeper-batter Brendon McCullum

The 39-year-old made his Test debut in December 2009 and eight months later, played his first ODI match. Between 2009 and 2012, Watling has played only eight Tests. After Brendon McCullum decided to quit the wicket-keeping role in Tests in 2010, Watling emerged as the best option for the Kiwis. However, it took him three more years to settle in as New Zealand’s full-time wicketkeeper for the longer format.

Notably, Watling was part of the team that won the 2019–21 ICC World Test Championship. Although he failed to contribute with the bat in the final against India, he was impressive behind the stumps. It was New Zealand’s second ICC title after winning the Champions Trophy in 2000.

Watling is the holder of most dismissals by a wicketkeeper for New Zealand. He is the first wicket-keeper batter to score a double century for the Black Caps in Tests, a feat he achieved against England in 2019. He is also involved in New Zealand’s highest sixth- and seventh-wicket partnership in Tests – a 352-run stand with McCullum against India in Wellington in February 2014.


Also read: New Zealand star batter Devon Conway was born in 1991

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