The South Africa cricket team have seemingly dug their grave and laid in it as well. As it turns out, talismanic batsman, AB de Villiers is sorely missed by the Proteas. The 35-year old announced his retirement from international cricket back in 2018. Now, ‘Mr. 360’ seems like he is regretting his decision and wanted to come back for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
According to Cricket South Africa National Selection Panel convenor, Linda Zondi, their hands were tied and had to reject his proposal to come out of retirement.
A statement issued by CSA read, “I pleaded with AB de Villiers not to retire in 2018. Although there was a perception that he was picking and choosing when to play – which was not true- I did give him the option to plan and monitor his season to get him to the World Cup fresh and in a good space. We made it clear that he would have to play during the home tours against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to be considered for selection, instead, he signed to play in the Pakistan and Bangladesh Premier Leagues respectively. He turned down the offer and said he was at peace with his decision to retire.
“For Faf du Plessis and Ottis Gibson to share AB’s desire to be included in the squad on the day we announced our World Cup squad on April 18th was a shock to all of us. AB left a big vacuum when he retired, we had a year to find players at franchise level to fill the gap. We had players who put in the hard work, who put up their hands and deserved to be given the opportunity to go to the World Cup. The decision was based on principle; we had to be fair to the team, the selection panel, our franchise system and players.
“At no point in the year that he had retired did he make himself available for selection. It was no option when I received the news on the day of the squad announcement, our squad was finalised and confirmed. AB is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, but above all else, we have to stay true to our morals and principles, there is no regret in the decision.”.
Now, AB de Villiers has urged fans to forget about his saga and focus on supporting the Proteas in their World Cup 2019 campaign.