Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has announced his retirement from Tests to make T20 cricket his main priority with two World Cups on the horizon.
Middle-order batsman Du Plessis was the most senior member of the South Africa Test squad that lost the recent series 2-0 in Pakistan.
He finishes his Test career with an average of 40.02 after 69 matches, with 10 centuries and 21 fifties.
The 36-year-old has not retired from one-day international cricket but will prioritise the shortest format for now, with T20 World Cups set to be held in 2021 and 2022, in Australia and India respectively.
Du Plessis said in a statement: “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.
“The next two years are 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.
“This does not mean that ODI cricket is no longer in my plans. I am just making T20 cricket the priority in the short term.”
Du Plessis made his Test debut against Australia in Adelaide in 2012, scoring 78 and a memorable 110 in the second innings, in which he faced 376 deliveries on a wearing wicket to help South Africa secure a draw in a series they won 1-0.
The right-hander captained the side in 36 Tests but gave up the armband in February 2020 after a string of poor results.