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NZ vs Pak 2020-21 – 1st Test – Neil Wagner

NZ vs Pak 2020-21 - 1st Test - Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner was carrying the pain of a fractured toe, sustained while batting in the first innings of the first Test against Pakistan, but he persevered through that injury and bowled 21 overs in Pakistan’s first innings because it would have ‘taken a stretcher’ to carry him off the field where he would be sitting and watching his team-mates do the hard work.

Wagner was struck on his right foot by a Shaheen Afridi yorker on the second morning, but was later cleared to play if he could tolerate the pain.

“I do take a lot of pride in something like that,” Wagner said about bowling through the pain. “But it comes down to the team. There’s still a way of contributing for them. I wouldn’t be wanting to sit on the side with my foot up and watching the boys doing the hard work out there, and I can’t be there to help out. I feel I’ll be left out, I have a bit of FOMO. Injuries happen and it’s unlucky, but I can still walk, I can still do things, I can run. It’s not going to stop me. It’s sore and it’s uncomfortable but it’s just one of those things you have to deal with.

“Test matches don’t come easy. Playing for your country is never anything you can take for granted. I know how bloody hard I had to work to get to where I am now and I’m sure as hell not going to sit on the side and watch other people do it. I want to be part of it and playing my part. Unless they carry me off on a stretcher, I’m going to try and do everything I can, I guess.”

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