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AB de Villiers’ reasons for turning down the Proteas revealed

AB de Villiers’ reasons for turning down the Proteas revealed

Star batsman AB de Villiers rocked the South African cricket fraternity earlier this week when he turned down a return to the Proteas fold.

The De Villiers saga has been an ongoing one, which had cast a huge cloud over the heads of those who are in charge at Cricket South Africa (CSA), which many might even go as far as saying has attributed more harm than good to South African Cricket.

De Villiers initially had Proteas supporters rocking when he announced his retirement from all international cricket in 2018, a bombshell so unbelievable that, CSA had to keep testing its authenticity.


Their first incident came with perfect timing! Right on the eve of a World Cup squad selection where it was later revealed that the CSA had indeed been flirting with the return of their former captain. Reports emerged that it was in fact de Villiers himself who was speaking to then captain and good friend Faf du Plessis about a return, going as far as expressing just how keen he was to represent the country at the 2019 World Cup.


That World Cup proved to be a disastrous campaign for the Proteas, with this news leaking out amidst all of the teams’ struggles in England not providing the best form of assistance either. De Villiers would continue to keep proving his undoubted talents with the willow in various T20 tournaments all over the globe. That form coupled with the continued travails of the Proteas post the World Cup meant speculation surrounding his potential recall would just not go away.

The latest De Villiers and Proteas saga came at the back of yet another great IPL showing from the 37-year-old. The Bela-Bela born player lit up the scene in India and the inevitable conversation resurfaced. CSA Director of Cricket and former team-mate Graeme Smith did very little to put out the fires, but rather more to add fuel to them.


Smith, who captained De Villiers for many years came out on record stating that the Proteas would consider “free agent” players who were performing well, for the upcoming series against the West Indies as well as the limited-overs series against Ireland. That list included the likes of former Kolpak players such as Simon Harmer and Kyle Abbott of course, as well as IPL stars Chris Morris and Du Plessis.

For the most eagle-eyed Proteas supporter, however, it presented the biggest clue of De Villiers’ return yet. That would eventually prove not to be the case, however, as CSA released a statement earlier this week that De Villiers had reiterated his retirement stance to them and would not be forming part of the Proteas set up, ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup.


The news would have felt like a dagger going through the hearts of many a Proteas faithful, especially after having their hopes up due to hearing all the right noises prior. Fans were then left perplexed and seeking answers to why De Villiers seemingly backed out last minute after all the positive hints. Speaking to The Citizen Proteas coach Mark Boucher has finally revealed the reasons behind De Villiers’ decision.


AB has his reasons, which I respect. Unfortunately, he’s no longer in the mix. I say unfortunately because I think we all agree that he’s still one of the best – if not the best – T20 players in world cricket,” Boucher said.

But he alluded to being concerned about coming in ahead of other players who have been a part of the system. I don’t think it sat well with him, which I understand,” he said before explaining why he made the pursuit.

But as a coach, I needed to try and get our best players, for the team and the environment. AB is an energy booster in any environment, but I respect his reasoning. It was worth a go, but now let’s move forward,” Boucher concluded.




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