Known for his new ball exploits, Neil Wagner is a left-arm seamer who is among several South African-born recruits plying their trade in New Zealand. Although not express pace, Wagner’s strength is his ability to swing the ball. Adding reverse swing to his repertoire to become a more complete bowler, he has become capable of taking wickets even in unhelpful conditions.
Wagner learnt his cricket at Afrikaans High School for Boys in Pretoria and made an impact in his first-class debut in 2005-06 for Northerns, taking two four-wicket hauls. He then toured Zimbabwe and Bangladesh with the National Academy side in 2006-07, and even fielded as the twelfth man in two Tests in Centurion. Despite finishing as the highest overall wicket-taker in the 2006-07 Provincial Challenge (39 wickets), Wagner had to look at other options due to the quota system. While in England, he nearly landed a contract with Sussex, but opted to try his luck in New Zealand following positive feedback from Canterbury players. The move turned out to be an excellent one as Wagner took 21 wickets for Otago in his opening season, but easily bettered it thereafter: in 2010-11 he was the leading wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield, and in the next season he again topped the charts with 46 wickets at 26.32. A national call-up came soon, when he was named in New Zealand’s Test squad for the West Indies tour in 2012.
Since then, he has been a regular face in the New Zealand Test squad and is looking forward to an exciting 2015-16 summer.
|Full Name:||Neil Wagner|
|Date of Birth:||19 March, 1986, Pretoria, Transvaal|
|Major Teams:||New Zealand, New Zealand A, Northerns, Otago|
List A debut: 22 January, 2006 v North West
First class debut: 19 January, 2006 v North West
Test debut: 25 July, 2012 v West Indies
T20 debut: 4 February, 2009 v Canterbury