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Zuma lauds AB de Villiers for “sterling” achievements

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday congratulated cricketer AB de Villiers on becoming the fastest player ever to score 7000 One Day International runs.

“Mr De Villiers has done the country immensely proud with his sterling achievements and we wish him all the best going forward,” said Zuma in a statement issued by the Presidency.

De Villiers has also been named the International Cricket Council’s One Day International (ODI) Cricketer of the Year.

Playing his 172nd ODI for South Africa against Australia on Friday, he brought his total to 7019 runs from 166 innings at an average of 51.23.

Zuma – who is currently in Brisbane, Australia for the G20 leaders summit – also pledged his support for the Proteas in their ODI match against Australia in Perth on Sunday.

India’s Sourav Ganguly was the previous fastest to reach the landmark, needing 180 matches and 174 innings to reach 7000.

Jacques Kallis was the previous fastest South African – 197 matches and 188 innings – with Herschelle Gibbs the only other South African to have scored more than 7 000 ODI runs.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the skipper deserved recognition for his achievements.

“AB fully deserves every accolade that comes his way,” Lorgat said.

“He is a supremely gifted cricketer and undoubtedly one of our best ever. He has also grown impressively as a leader among the Proteas.” – Sapa

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