Wagner pulling stumps on Otago after 10-year innings

Neil Wagner celebrates a wicket against Canterbury last year. Photo: Getty Images
Neil Wagner celebrates a wicket against Canterbury last year. Photo: Getty Images
Otago gave Neil Wagner a platform to reach for his dreams and for that he will be ''eternally grateful''.

But after 10 years the Black Caps left-armer is moving on and it is with a heavy heart.

The 32-year-old and his wife Lana have recently moved to Tauranga and he felt it would be too difficult to continue playing for the Volts.

He has signed for Northern Districts and will join an impressive attack which includes fellow Black Caps Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

In a statement, he thanked the Otago Cricket Association, the fans and his team-mates for all the support.

''Otago will always hold a special place in my heart.

''[The association] gave me my first opportunity in New Zealand and for that I'll be eternally grateful.''

Wagner moved to Otago from South Africa in 2008 and played 186 matches for the Volts overall, taking 447 wickets.

It was always his goal to play international cricket and he got the call-up in 2012, shortly after qualifying for his adopted country.

Otago Cricket Association chief executive Mike Coggan said Wagner's departure would leave a massive hole.

''Undoubtedly Neil will be a huge loss to Otago, but at the same time we wish him all the very best as he moves on to new beginnings,'' Coggan said.

''He's been a huge part of Otago cricket for a decade and we will miss his big smile and personality.''

Volts coach Rob Walter said: ''Losing a player of the quality of Neil will always leave a hole in your team, but I fully understand his reasons.

''Neil is a passionate cricketer who gives 100% every time as he did so for Otago for many years.

''I wish him well in this next chapter. He deserves whatever successes come his way.''

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