AB de Villiers retires from international cricket

Proteas batsman AB de Villiers has called it day, announcing his retirement from all forms of the international game. The shock announcement is a major blow to the national side who will be targeting a top place finish in next year’s World Cup.

“After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI’s and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over,” De Villiers announced on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. “I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.

“This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.”

The 34-year-old former captain put in a solid performance at the crease in the Australia series, scoring 427 runs, as the Proteas beat Australia for the first time since readmission. It’s one of many accolades for the batsman who will bow out with an incredible Test average of 50.66.

De Villiers perhaps preempted potential criticism of the decision by insisting it was not about money or an overseas contract. He said he had to retire from all three formats because it would not be right for him to be selective of where and when he plays. Early last year, De Villiers received a fair amount of public flak after he made himself unavailable for two major Test series due to “workload management”.

“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas,” De Villiers continued. “For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years. The most important thank you goes out to all of my teammates throughout my career, I wouldn’t be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years.

“It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.

“I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”

De Villiers scored 8765 runs in 114 Tests while smashing 9577 in 228 ODIs. He has the records for the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in the ODI format.

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

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