Proteas’ Heinrich Klaasen announces retirement from Test cricket

South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen watches the ball after playing a shot during the third day of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and West Indies at Supersport Park in Centurion

Despite still being a key player of the Proteas limited overs sides, Heinrich Klaasen battled to cement a place in the Test team. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

Published Jan 8, 2024


Proteas wicketkeeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen on Monday announced his retirement from Test cricket.

The 32-year-old steps away from the red-ball format after featuring in four matches for South Africa between 2019 and 2023.

He made his Test debut in India and went on to represent the country in Australia and twice played against the West Indies last summer.

Despite still being a key player of the Proteas limited overs sides, Klaasen battled to cement a place in the Test team. In his four matches in the format he scored a total of 104 runs for an average of 13, with a top score of 35. He also took 10 catches and made two stumpings in that period. Klaasen was also dropped from the Test squad in the recently-concluded two-match series against India.

Following Dean Elgar

Klaasen follows Dean Elgar who announced his retirement from the format before the India series.

The aggressive batsman did not give a specific reason for his retirement, but he will likely play out the remaining years of his career in the lucrative IPL, Hundred and MLC T20 leagues.

South Africa also have a limited Test schedule over the next five-year period with seven more Tests in 2024, but do not play any home matches between January 2024 and September 2026.

Speaking about his decision, Klaasen said: “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 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.

"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 I am looking forward to it.”

Cricket South Africa’s Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe said: “It is tough to see a player of Heinrich's calibre step away from red-ball cricket, but we respect his decision.

“We look forward to seeing him excel in the white-ball arena and continue to make valuable contributions to South African cricket in the years ahead."