© BCCI
AB de Villiers represented RCB in IPL 2017© BCCI

South Africa’s talismanic player AB de Villiers has defended his decision to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 ahead of his nation’s tour of England. South Africa, who take on England in a 4-Test series, will be without the services of de Villiers who has opted out due to resurfacing of an elbow injury and family reasons. He, however, will lead South Africa in three One-Day Internationals prior to the Test series. A global trend across the cricketing world this season has been several discussions over player’s financial payments. Cricket South Africa (CSA) does languish behind when it comes to paying their players in comparison to Australia and England. It should thus not come as a surprise that the likes of de Villiers prefer the IPL riches over national duties.

“I made some important decisions for my life and career in the last year or so in order for me to have the best chance of winning trophies and being part of a successful team,” said de Villiers, according to a report in dailymail.co.uk. De Villiers earned around 1.5 million Euros this year playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

“Physically I realised I’m the best I can be when I’m fresh and looking forward to cricket instead of the other way round and being tired when I’m playing. Spending time with the family has done me the world of good and it is about finding the balance of working hard to win with time away from the game,” he further added. De Villiers still maintains that Test cricket and international cricket must be a priority.

On upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2017, de Villiers said, “This is for this year. We will see where we go. I can only focus on what is going on now and the decision was made to play a little less. I am feeling fresh and a hundred per cent fit and that was the aim ahead of this tournament.”

De Villiers maintains that he will continue to play Test cricket and aims for a comeback in the scheduled India series in late 2017.

‘It is an individual thing and not everybody is in my situation. Some players will have a similar decision to make but this is what will work for me. I can’t speak for the rest of the cricketing world,” he concluded.