Former South Africa batter AB de Villiers will not come out of retirement to play the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled later this year, confirms Cricket South Africa. Meanwhile, over the last two years, there were speculations that the legendary batter might come out of his exile and represent the Proteas once again.
De Villiers’ premature retirement in 2018 after an illustrious career of 15 years left the entire cricketing fraternity shocked. But, there were rumors that AB de Villiers might overturn his decision. Things looked a lot brighter after Cricket South Africa Director Graeme Smith gave hints that De Villiers might return to international cricket.
AB de Villiers retirement to remain final
A couple of months back, Proteas head coach Mark Boucher revealed that he has had a conversation with De Villiers and looked quite optimistic about his return. When asked, the 37-year-old AB de Villiers also gave a positive response as well while speaking in the post-match presentation of an IPL 2021 match.
“It will be fantastic to play for South Africa again, I will be speaking with Boucher late end of IPL – last year, he asked me whether I am interested and I said ‘absolutely’,” he stated.
But as it stands, Cricket South Africa has confirmed that there are no chances of AB de Villiers returning to international cricket. His last outing for Proteas came against Australia in a Test match at Johannesburg in March-April 2018 as in the very next month, he put forth his decision of hanging his boots at the age of 34.
“Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final,” Cricket South Africa said in a tweet.
AB de Villiers finalises international retirement.
Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final. pic.twitter.com/D3UDmaDAS2
— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) May 18, 2021
AB de Villiers remains one of the world’s finest T20 players and finishes as the fourth-highest run-scorer for South Africa in Tests and their second-highest in ODIs and T20Is. He was in red-hot form during IPL 2021 before the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic brought the tournament to a premature halt, scoring 207 runs in six innings at an average of 51.75 and a strike rate of 164.28.