Ollie Robinson has been suspended from England duty pending an investigation into the historic messages of a racist and sexist nature that were posted on his Twitter account.

Sussex pace bowler Robinson took 7-101 and scored 42 runs in the drawn first Test against New Zealand at Lord's.

However, while the Sussex seamer was in action on the field on the first day of the Test, comments he made in 2012 and 2013 – when he was aged 18 and 19 – emerged on social media.

The discovery of the comments came after England's players wore anti-discrimination T-shirts carrying messages regarding racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia and ageism ahead of play starting on Wednesday.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison strongly condemned the posts and confirmed a full investigation would be launched as part of the governing body's disciplinary process.

A statement from the ECB on Sunday confirmed the 27-year-old will not be able to take part in international cricket until the investigation is complete.

The statement read: "England and Sussex bowler Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historic tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013.

"He will not be available for selection for the second Test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday June 10.

"Robinson will leave the England camp immediately and return to his county."

There was no Sunday drama at Lord's on this occasion as England dug in for a drab draw in the first Test against New Zealand.

On the same ground where England beat the Black Caps in an incredible ICC World Cup final two years ago, Kane Williamson's side were unable to force a final-day victory.

The tourists set Joe Root's home team 273 to win when they declared on 169-6 at lunch, but New Zealand could not take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series as Dom Sibley ground out an obdurate unbeaten 60.

Root (40) also frustrated New Zealand, with England showing no intention of chasing down their target and they were 170-3 when the two captains shook hands after 7pm in London, so both sides will head to Edgbaston next week in the hunt to win the series.

Nightwatchman Neil Wagner was removed by Ollie Robinson early in the day after the tourists resumed chasing quick runs on 62-2 and New Zealand were 105-4 when Stuart Broad trapped Tom Latham (36) leg before.

Ross Taylor made a brisk 33 from 35 balls, hitting Robinson and Mark Wood for six, before edging the latter behind, and Henry Nicholls was dismissed by Root for 23.

Williamson declared after lunch was taken slightly early due to a shower, but a breakthrough proved to be elusive at first when play resumed.

It was Wagner who came into the attack to end an opening stand of 49, Tim Southee holding on at second slip after the seamer drew an edge from Rory Burns (25).

England were 56-2 just before tea with Zak Crawley sent on his way by Southee for two, and the impressive Wagner ended a third-wicket stand of 80 by snaring Root lbw, but New Zealand could not see the back of Sibley or Ollie Pope (20 not out).

 

Broad ends long Test drought

There was relief for England paceman Broad when he ended a long wait for a Test wicket in the morning session.

Broad did not add to his impressive tally of Test scalps in the series defeat in India and his dismissal of Latham was his first in the longest format for 81.2 overs. Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews was his previous victim in January.

Positive Williamson declaration not rewarded as Sibley returns to form

The draw left New Zealand still with only one Test victory at Lord's, which came back in July 1999. Williamson's positive declaration did not pay dividends as England ground out what was ultimately a drab draw.

It was a welcome return to form for the stubborn Sibley, who faced 207 balls as he showed great application after falling for a duck in the first innings.

Tim Southee claimed six wickets to secure New Zealand a first-innings lead against England, who were indebted to Rory Burns' hundred in the first Test at Lord’s.

A draw appeared the most likely result after rain washed out Friday's play, but Kyle Jamieson removed home captain Joe Root with the opening delivery of the day for 42 before the outstanding Southee (6-43) put the tourists on top.

Having trapped Ollie Pope lbw for 22, the seam bowler removed both Dan Lawrence and debutant James Bracey for ducks, leaving England at 140-6 and in danger of being asked to follow on.

That possibility disappeared thanks to a seventh-wicket stand worth 63 between Burns – who had witnessed the carnage unfold at the non-striker’s end – and Ollie Robinson, the latter following up four wickets with the ball by making a crucial 42.

Southee eventually ended the partnership and with Mark Wood (0) and Stuart Broad (10) also departing before he had reached three figures, Burns had to rely on last man James Anderson to keep him company through to three figures.

The left-handed opener was given two reprieves along the way, wicketkeeper BJ Watling failed to take a stumping opportunity when on 77, while Southee shelled a catch at second slip 11 runs later.

Burns' third Test hundred eventually arrived from the 267th delivery faced, and he had continued on to 132 by the time Southee had him caught behind, both players knowing they had done enough to see their names added to the famous honours board. England were dismissed for 275, meaning they trailed by 103.

New Zealand extended that advantage to 165 as they closed on 62-2, losing Devon Conway (23), who made a double century in the first innings, as well as Kane Williamson (1) along the way, with Robinson (2-8) removing both.

All seams good for Black Caps

Southee claimed his 12th five-wicket haul in Tests and his second at Lord's, having also taken 6-50 at the famous venue eight years earlier. Richard Hadlee (six) and Chris Cairns (three) are the only Kiwi bowlers to have taken five in an innings on more occasions in England.

Burns props up England

Left out during the tour of India, Burns made sure he seized his opportunity at the top of the order. There were a few bumps along the way – he was twice hit on the helmet by short balls – and the odd moment of good fortune, but a knock that included 16 fours and a solitary six was pivotal for his side.

No play was possible on day three of the first Test between England and New Zealand at a soggy Lord's.

England had been due to resume on 111-2 in their first innings after bowling out the Black Caps for 378, only for persistent rainfall throughout Friday to make sure the players never made it out onto the field.

Saturday's action will be extended to try to make up some of the time lost with 98 overs now scheduled – weather permitting, of course.

Opener Rory Burns and captain Joe Root are the two not out batsmen for England, having reached stumps on the second day unbeaten on 59 and 42 respectively.

Their partnership of 93 had helped the hosts out of an early hole, Dom Sibley having departed for a duck at the start of the fourth over before Zak Crawley then fell soon after for two, leaving the score at 18-2.

Devon Conway had starred for New Zealand with the bat, the debutant becoming just the seventh player to register a double hundred on debut in Test cricket as he made exactly 200. 

After Lord's, the teams will move on to Edgbaston to conclude the two-match series, though the Black Caps will remain in England as they take on India in the ICC Test Championship final later in June.

New Zealand's Devon Conway put himself into the record books with a double hundred on his Test debut, though England got themselves back into contention at Lord's.

Mark Wood (3-81) and England debutant Ollie Robinson – who came into the second day on the back of issuing an apology for offensive historic social media posts – managed to wrestle the hosts back into the fray after the tourists closed on 246-3 on Wednesday.

Robinson finished with impressive figures of 4-75 and would have had a five-for on debut if not for Stuart Broad dropping Tim Southee's drive.

Yet the day belonged to Conway, who brought up his 200 with a six before succumbing to a strange run-out in the Black Caps' 378 all out, with England surviving a nervy start to reach the close on 111-2.

Starting the day on 136 not out and, along with Henry Nicholls (61), New Zealand's opener picked up where he left off and, when he hit 154, had surpassed legendary figures WG Grace and Ranji to establish himself as the highest scoring Test debutant on English soil.

Wood delivered in his second over, a bouncer drawing Nicholls into a miscontrolled hook to Robinson, and the paceman soon had his second and third wickets, dismissing BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner either side of Robinson trapping Colin de Grandhomme lbw.

Kyle Jamieson followed to Robinson after lunch as the Black Caps lost a fifth wicket within the space of 29 runs, though Conway trundled on and, amid a late flurry from Neil Wagner, the 29-year-old got his 200 when a top edge soared over the deep square leg boundary.

Conway's record stand came to an end in bizarre circumstances. Joe Root seemed to have let the opportunity for a run-out slip by when he missed the stumps after collecting Ollie Pope's throw, yet England's captain recovered just in time to knock the bails off before Conway made it back.

In reply, England were a wicket down inside four overs. With Southee having an lbw appeal against Rory Burns rightly turned down, Jamieson struck when Dom Sibley (0) was hit on the pads just in line with off stump.

Zak Crawley edged through to Watling as fears of another batting collapse grew, but Burns and Root steadied the ship, reaching unbeaten tallies of 59 and 42 respectively before stumps.

RECORDS TUMBLE FOR CONWAY

There can be no full house just yet at the home of cricket, but the Lord's crowd were treated to a masterclass of an innings by Conway, who became just the second Black Caps batsman, after Matthew Sinclair in 1999, to score 200 on his Test debut, and just the seventh player ever to score a double century on his first appearance in the longest format.

Conway is the oldest player to hit 200 on his Test debut, and his runs accounted for 52.91 per cent of New Zealand's first-innings total.

ROBINSON FALLS JUST SHORT

Wednesday was a difficult day for Robinson, on what should have been a proud moment for the seamer.

He can at least take pride in what was a resilient response, and if not for Broad's dreadful spill from Southee's shot, Robinson would have had a five-for. It would also have matched a unique statistic, as only once previously in Test history have a century and a five-for been recorded by debutants in the same innings, with Harry Graham (107) and Bill Lockwood (6-101) doing so at Lord's in 1893.

England fast bowler Ollie Robinson issued an apology after historic messages of a racist and sexist nature posted on his Twitter account emerged on the day of his Test debut.

Robinson took 2-50 on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand, who reached stumps on 246-3 at Lord's.

However, while the Sussex seamer was in action on the field, comments he made in 2012 and 2013 – when he was aged 18 and 19 – emerged on social media.

In a statement published by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) at the close of play, Robinson admitted to being "embarrassed" and "ashamed" at the social media posts.

"On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public," he said.

"I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist. I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. 

"I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets.

"Today should be about my efforts on the field and the pride of making my Test debut for England, but my thoughtless behaviour in the past has tarnished this.

"Over the past few years, I have worked hard to turn my life around. I have considerably matured as an adult. 

"The work and education I have gained personally from the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association), my county Sussex and the England cricket team have helped me to come to terms and gain a deep understanding of being a responsible professional cricketer.

"I would like to unreservedly apologise to anyone I have offended, my team-mates and the game as a whole in what has been a day of action and awareness in combatting discrimination from our sport. 

"I don't want something that happened eight years ago to diminish the efforts of my team-mates and the ECB as they continue to build meaningful action with their comprehensive initiatives and efforts, which I fully endorse and support.

"I will continue to educate myself, look for advice and work with the support network that is available to me to learn more about getting better in this area. I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today."

The discovery of the comments came after England's players wore anti-discrimination T-shirts carrying messages regarding racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia and ageism ahead of play starting on Wednesday.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison strongly condemned the posts and confirmed a full investigation will be launched as part of the governing body's disciplinary process.

"I do not have the words to express how disappointed I am that an England men's player has chosen to write tweets of this nature, however long ago that might have been," Harrison said in a statement.

"Any person reading those words, particularly a woman or person of colour, would take away an image of cricket and cricketers that is completely unacceptable. We are better than this. 

"We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature. We will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process. 

"Our England men's team, alongside others from the ECB and our partners across the game, worked together today to create a moment of unity. 

"Using today's spotlight to reaffirm our commitment to driving forward an anti-discrimination agenda. 

"Our commitment to that effort remains unwavering, and the emergence of these comments from Ollie's past reiterates the need for ongoing education and engagement on this issue."

Robinson dismissed Tom Latham and Ross Taylor but New Zealand debutant Devon Conway scored an unbeaten century to leave the tourists in control. 

Devon Conway registered a century on his Test debut as New Zealand enjoyed a productive opening day with the bat in their series with England.

Opener Conway finished up on 136 not out to help the Black Caps close on 246-3 at Lord's in the first of two matches between the nations.

Ollie Robinson also made an impact on debut for England, the Sussex seamer taking 2-50, but it was tough work for the four members of an all-pace attack, with captain Joe Root contributing 12 overs of spin.

Ross Taylor's departure for 14 during the afternoon saw New Zealand sit at 114-3 after winning the toss and opting to bat, but Henry Nicholls combined with Conway to share an unbroken stand worth 132 as England faded.

As he matched former captain Alastair Cook's England record of 161 Test appearances, James Anderson once again dismissed Kane Williamson in the format, the New Zealand captain seeing a defensive push only end up sending the ball back onto his stumps to depart for 13.

Tom Latham also perished via an inside edge, the opener the only wicket to fall in the first session when bowled by Robinson for 23.

However, Conway dazzled in the London sunshine, becoming the 12th New Zealander to mark their maiden Test outing with a century.

The 29-year-old was born in South Africa but cleared to play for New Zealand in August 2020. He had already impressed in white-ball cricket at the highest level prior to his opportunity in the longest format.

His milestone moment arrived in the final session courtesy of a flamboyant flick off his pads through the leg side, one of 16 boundaries the left-hander struck in a composed innings that has so far spanned 240 deliveries.

Nicholls was 46 not out at stumps, happy to play second fiddle to his new team-mate as the Black Caps built the foundations for a big first-innings score.

From fast starts to playing the long game 

Conway - the 281st player to represent New Zealand in Test cricket – had already featured in three one-dayers and 14 Twenty20 games in his international career. Indeed, his T20 batting average (59.1) is the highest of any of the 528 players to make at least 10 appearances. 

His first Test chance saw him set a record too, as he moved beyond Williamson's 131 against India in November 2010 to post the highest score by a Black Caps debutant made outside of New Zealand. 

Anderson able to get Kane once again 

As a busy home schedule that includes a five-match series against India got off to a tough start, Anderson provided a rare moment of success for England by getting rid of Williamson straight after lunch. 

He has now dismissed the right-hander seven times in Tests, the most by any bowler. Indeed, no other New Zealand batsman has fallen to Anderson on more occasions in the format.

Kane Williamson says New Zealand will not be fuelled by the opportunity to gain revenge when they face England at Lord's for the first time since the dramatic Cricket World Cup final.

The Black Caps and England start a two-match Test series at the famous venue on Wednesday.

It is almost two years since England beat New Zealand to win the World Cup for the first time following a tense Super Over in London.

New Zealand captain Williamson is looking forward rather than dwelling on that incredible day, with his side attempting to stretch their longest winning run in the Test format to seven matches at the expense of Joe Root's depleted team.

Asked if the tourists owe England a defeat, Williamson replied: "It was a fantastic game of cricket [the World Cup final] but it's a different side and it's been some time since that day, so our focus is different.

"It's the cricket we want to play as a Test side, there's certainly no thought about owing anybody anything. We were both part of a fantastic game that was decided by largely things outside of both of our teams' control. It was a special game to be a part of but looking forward to the Test here tomorrow."

Williamson added: "The experience was thought of fondly, although it was emotional to a certain extent and at the time to think back and being involved in that match.

"Some of the controversies that surrounded it and drama, all these things that come with tournament cricket and some of the fine margins that we saw in that game. You look back on it fondly and having that match played at a ground like Lord's I suppose just adds to it.

"The guys are really excited to be back here, it's always a pleasure to have the opportunity to play at Lord's and we're looking forward to the next challenge - which is starting tomorrow."

 

Bracey to make debut, Anderson set to equal Cook record

Wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey will make his England debut with both Jos Buttler, who is among several players to be rested after a period of isolation following the early end of the Indian Premier League, and the injured Ben Foakes not available.

Root has named Stuart Broad as his vice-captain for a series that will see the hosts without all-rounder Ben Stokes, absent due to a fractured finger.

Seamer Ollie Robinson will be hoping to get the chance to impress in Test cricket, while Craig Overton is in contention for a recall following an excellent start to the county season for Somerset.

Meanwhile, James Anderson will match Alastair Cook's record of 161 England Test caps if he is named in the side.

 

Black Caps eye long-awaited Lord’s win

New Zealand have won only one Test at Lord's and that was back in July 1999.

England have beaten them eight times at the famous venue, while eight of the previous 17 contests have ended in a draw.

The tourists face India in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final at the Ageas Bowl after taking on England twice. They have not won a Test series in England since a 2-1 victory 22 years ago.

 

Key Opta facts

- Williamson needs just 58 runs to become the second-highest run-scorer for the Black Caps in men's Test cricket. Ross Taylor (7,379) and Stephen Fleming (7,172) are the only New Zealanders to manage more than Williamson (7,115) in the format.

- Since the start of 2020, Root has scored 1,258 runs at an average of 54.7 in Tests. His tally of runs is 414 more than any other player during this period.

- Black Caps paceman Kyle Jamieson has a strike rate of 33.3 with the ball in Tests since the start of last year. Only two players (minimum 50 overs bowled) have a better rate in that time (Hasan Ali – 25.8 and Axar Patel – 28.3)

- England have lost only one of their last 10 Tests against New Zealand on home soil (W8, D1); however, that defeat was their most recent meeting (lost by 199 runs at Headingley in May 2015)

Stuart Broad will be England's vice-captain for the Test series against New Zealand.

Joe Root confirmed on the eve of England's first game of the summer at Lord's that paceman Broad will be his deputy.

Broad steps in with Ben Stokes still recovering from a fractured finger and Jos Buttler rested after completing a quarantine period following the cancellation of the Indian Premier League.

England face the Black Caps at Edgbaston after starting the two-match series at Lord's this week.

Broad revealed he considered retiring after he was left "frustrated, angry and gutted" over his omission from the side for the first Test against West Indies in July before responding with some outstanding performances.

James Anderson will match Alastair Cook's record of 161 Test appearances if he is named in the team to face on Kane Williamson's side in London on Wednesday.

England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series with New Zealand after suffering a freak injury.

Foakes slipped in the dressing room after Surrey's County Championship match against Middlesex on Sunday and tore his left hamstring.

He was seemingly set to make his first Test appearance on home soil at Lord's next month after fellow wicketkeepers Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow were both rested following their involvement in the Indian Premier League.

However, Foakes is expected to miss at least three months while he recuperates, meaning Gloucestershire's James Bracey is now in line to make his Test debut.

Sam Billings and Haseeb Hameed have been added to England's squad for the two-match series with New Zealand, which begins on June 2.

Kent captain Billings is drafted in as wicketkeeping cover, while opening batsman Hameed – who has 474 runs at an average of 52.66 for Nottinghamshire in the 2021 season so far – is recalled, having not featured for England since November 2016.

Unlike Buttler and Bairstow, Billings – a regular in white-ball squads – has played for his county since returning from IPL duty. 

Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Moeen Ali are the others to have been rested for the series, while Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer are ruled out through injury.

James Bracey and Ollie Robinson have been handed their first England Test call-ups, while Craig Overton earns a recall to a 15-man squad.

Chris Silverwood's options have been limited for the two-match home series against New Zealand next month.

Superstar all-rounder Ben Stokes (finger) and fast bowler Jofra Archer (elbow) are both injured, while Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes are all rested after completing a quarantine period following their return home from the postponed Indian Premier League.

It means wicketkeeper-batsman Bracey and seamer Robinson both get the call, rewarded for impressive performances in the early stages of the County Championship season.

Bracey averages 37.30 across his first-class career, but is at an impressive 53 – courtesy of 478 runs – for Gloucestershire so far this season. Robinson, meanwhile, has claimed 29 wickets at just 14 apiece for Sussex.

Both men have already toured with England as reserves in Sri Lanka and India, while they were included in extended groups for the Tests last year against West Indies and Pakistan.

Somerset all-rounder Overton, who has four caps, is set to return to the fold for the first time since the 2019 Ashes.

Head coach Silverwood said: "The summer of Test cricket will be fascinating.

"Playing the top two teams in the world, in New Zealand and India, is perfect preparation for us as we continue to improve and progress towards an Ashes series in Australia at the back end of the year. 

"With several players not available through injury or being rested for the New Zealand series, it is an opportunity for us to reward those who have been on the fringes of England squads over the past 12 months."

Silverwood also provided an update on Stokes, adding: "Ben Stokes is making excellent progress following his fractured left index finger sustained last month in the Indian Premier League.

"If he continues to improve without any impact on his rehabilitation, we could see him return next month for Durham in the Vitality Blast competition.

"We will assess him again towards the end of this month."

Archer had been ruled out on Sunday after a persistent elbow injury flared up again on his return to action for Sussex.

"We need to get this resolved once and for all to give him the best chance of being fully fit as we build up to an intense winter, which will include a T20 World Cup and the Ashes," Silverwood said.

"We need him firing in all formats of the game."


England squad in full:

Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood.

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of England’s two-Test series against New Zealand having suffered a setback in his return from an elbow injury.

Pace bowler Archer made his comeback in domestic action for Sussex this week after undergoing surgery on his right hand at the end of March.

However, a persistent elbow issue flared up while in action against Kent, with Archer unable to bowl during the final two days of the County Championship fixture.

England confirmed on Sunday that the 26-year-old will now seek further medical advice over the next course of action, meaning he will not feature in either game against the Black Caps on home soil.

"England and Sussex seamer Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand starting next month," an England and Wales Cricket Board statement read.

"Archer, who returned to action for Sussex in the LV= Insurance County Championship against Kent this week at Hove, only bowled five overs in Kent’s second innings. He was suffering from pain in his right elbow when bowling and was unable to bowl in the final two days of the match.

"The England and Sussex medical teams will now seek guidance, and Archer will see a medical consultant later this week to determine the next course of action on the management of his elbow."

Archer bowled 13 overs in Kent’s first innings, taking 2-29 in a rain-hit contest that finished as a draw.

He has 42 wickets at an average of 31.04 in 13 Test appearances for England, who have a home series to come against India later in the year.

All Blacks great Kieran Read has retired from rugby.

Read had said he would end his career at the end of the Japan Top League season, and his Toyota Verblitz side suffered a 48-21 semi-final defeat against the Panasonic Wild Knights on Sunday.

In a post on social media, Read said: "I'm looking forward to returning to New Zealand and spending time with my family."

"Thank you to the @toyotaverblitz team for the friendships I will hold onto for my lifetime, it's been a challenging time for everyone involved but proud of the direction we are heading," Read wrote on Instagram. 

"Also, a massive thanks to all the fans of rugby in Japan for your support."

Read was part of two New Zealand World Cup-winning sides, earning 127 caps for the All Blacks to put him third all-time in that regard. Richie McCaw tops the list with 148 Test caps.

He played 52 of his Tests as skipper and was the 66th captain of New Zealand. Only McCaw (110) made more appearances as captain of the All Blacks.

With 107 victories, Read is one of only five players to win 100 Test matches, along with fellow All Blacks McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock and Sam Whitelock.

His run of 19 consecutive victories as All Blacks captain from 2012 to 2016 is a record.

New Zealand legend Owen Franks is returning to his homeland to join the Hurricanes on a two-year deal.

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner moved to England in 2019 for a spell with Northampton Saints.

Former Crusaders prop Franks is on the move again after deciding to resume his Super Rugby career.

"I'm excited to be getting back into Super Rugby next year with the Hurricanes after time in the UK," he said.

"My family and I are looking forward to a new challenge and being back in New Zealand and closer to friends and family is also important.

"I am very motivated to play at the highest level again and I am looking forward to working with the Hurricanes players and coaching teams and pushing for success in 2022 and 2023."

Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland said of Franks: "His record speaks for itself and what he has been able to achieve is a measure of his quality and professionalism.

"Owen's experience will be invaluable, not just for the younger players in our squad but our group as a whole."

Franks played 108 times for New Zealand in a stellar Test career.

New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling will retire after the upcoming tour of England.

Watling had been considering his options and has decided to call time on his career following two Tests against England - the first of which starts at Lord's on June 2 - and the ICC World Test Championship final versus India at the Ageas Bowl June 18-22

The 35-year-old has played in 73 Test since making his debut as an opening batsman in 2009 and will break Adam Parore's record number of appearances by a Black Caps keeper of 67 if he plays in all three matches in England.

Watling said: "It's the right time. It's been a huge honour to represent New Zealand and in particular wear the Test baggy.

"Test cricket really is the pinnacle of the game and I've loved every minute of being out there in the whites with the boys. Sitting in the changing rooms having a beer with the team after five days' toil is what I'll miss the most.

"Although I've had to make this announcement ahead of the tour to England, my focus is very much on the three Tests ahead and preparing to perform in them.

"This tour will be a challenge on a few levels and we know as a team we will need to be at the very top of our game if we want to succeed."

Watling holds the New Zealand Test dismissals record with 249 catches - excluding 10 as a fielder - and eight stumpings, more than any other current Test gloveman.

Tim Southee has enjoyed the most fruitful bowler-keeper partnership with Watling, who has been involved in 73 dismissals for the paceman. Fellow seamers Trent Boult and Neil Wagner have seen Watling pouch catches off their bowling 55 and 53 times respectively.

He has scored eight centuries in the longest format, with a career-best 205 coming against England at Bay Oval in November 2019.

Watling has also played in 28 ODIs and five Twenty20 Internationals. 

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