Full name Neil Wagner
Born March 13, 1986, Pretoria, Transvaal
Current age 34 years 267 days
Major teams New Zealand, Lancashire, New Zealand A, Northerns, Otago
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Left-arm medium-fast
|Test debut||West Indies v New Zealand at North Sound, Jul 25-29, 2012 scorecard|
|Last Test||New Zealand v India at Christchurch, Feb 29-Mar 2, 2020 scorecard|
|First-class debut||North West v Northerns at Potchefstroom, Jan 19-21, 2006 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Northern Districts v Otago at Mount Maunganui, Oct 28-31, 2020 scorecard|
|List A debut||North West v Northerns at Potchefstroom, Jan 22, 2006 scorecard|
|Last List A||Northern Districts v Auckland at Whangarei, Nov 29, 2020 scorecard|
|T20s debut||Otago v Canterbury at Dunedin, Feb 4, 2009 scorecard|
|Last T20s||Northern Districts v Otago at Mount Maunganui, Feb 9, 2019 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|0/17||Northern D||v Auckland||Whangarei||29 Nov 2020||LA|
|2, 4/69, 14*, 0/19||Northern D||v Otago||Mount Maunganui||28 Oct 2020||FC|
|0, 3/65||Northern D||v Central D||Hamilton||19 Oct 2020||FC|
|4, 2/76, 3/77||Northern D||v Canterbury||Hamilton||10 Mar 2020||FC|
|1/29, 21, 1/18||New Zealand||v India||Christchurch||29 Feb 2020||Test # 2387|
|1/56, 20||Northern D||v Auckland||Auckland||29 Jan 2020||LA|
|0/36, 6||Northern D||v Wellington||Wellington||26 Jan 2020||LA|
|3/66, 0, 0/37, 0*||New Zealand||v Australia||Sydney||3 Jan 2020||Test # 2378|
|4/83, 18*, 3/50, 6*||New Zealand||v Australia||Melbourne||26 Dec 2019||Test # 2376|
|4/92, 0, 3/59, 8||New Zealand||v Australia||Perth||12 Dec 2019||Test # 2374|
An indefatigable left-arm seamer, Neil Wagner is among several South African-born recruits plying their trade in New Zealand and, latterly, in English county cricket. Although not express pace, Wagner's strength is an ability to swing the ball combined with a tenacious attitude. Once known only for his new-ball exploits, Wagner has added reverse swing to his repertoire to become a more complete bowler, capable of taking wickets even in unhelpful conditions.
After a four-year stand down period to be eligible for New Zealand, Wagner, a Test match specialist, struggled to regularly make the first choice XI early in his international career. A match haul of 8 for 126 in a 40-run victory over India at Eden Park in February 2014 demanded a more regular selection.
Wagner's heroics in Christchurch against Australia in 2016 epitomised him as a cricketer. He suffered a broken bowling knuckle on the ring finger of his bowling hand while trying to hold a catch from Joe Burns, but soldiered on through the pain, emerging with then career-best figures of 6 for 106 in Australia's first innings and seven in the match. He was New Zealand's most successful Test bowler statistically in 2016, taking 32 wickets at 21 from seven matches.
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.
Wagner has had county cricket spells with Northmptonshire and Lancashire.