AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers announced retirement from international cricket on Wednesday © Getty Images

AB de Villiers announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. He announced the same through a video that he posted from his social media account. De Villiers has played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is, scored over 20,000 international runs and has decided to retire on a high after the Test series wins against India and Australia that South Africa achieved earlier this year.

Watch AB announce his retirement

AB made his international debut against England, in a Test, at Port Elizabeth in December 2004. In a career spanning over 13 years, AB has scored 8,765 runs at 50.66 in Tests, 9,577 runs at 53.50 in ODIs and 1,672 runs at a strike rate of 135.16 in T20Is. Now 34, AB has said he will continue to play franchise cricket around the world.

De Villiers said that  ‘the time is right’ for him to hang up his boots:  “I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. 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.

“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. 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 team mates 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 holds the World Record for the fastest ODI 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls). His 278* is the second-highest individual Test score for South Africa. Regarded as one of the greatest to play the sport, he claimed the SA Cricketer of the Year award twice (2014 and 2015).

De Villiers finished his career as the No.2 ranked batsman player in the world and remains the second highest run-scorer for South Africa behind Jacques Kallis.

Cricket South Africa speak…

Cricket South Africa President Chris Nenzani said: “AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern day batting in all three formats but particularly in the white ball ones to new levels. What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his team mates whether playing at international or domestic level and the wonderful role model he has been to all our aspiring youngsters.

“It goes without saying that he is going to be greatly missed wherever international cricket is played. We thank him for the contribution he has made to South African cricket and specifically to make the Standard Bank Proteas world leaders and we wish him and his family everything of the best in his future endeavours.”

CSA Acting Chief Executive Thabang Moroe expressed his disappointment over AB’s retirement but supported the decision: “AB has been a colossus on the world stage for well over a decade and we are indeed grateful that most of this time he has been wearing the colours of our beloved Standard Bank Proteas. We all have our standout memories of his career and they are all very happy ones. I think particularly of the way he was embraced by the whole of India when he led the Proteas to their ODI Series victory in India a few years ago. He has captained the Proteas with distinction in all the international formats and his many achievements include making our first double century in a Test in India in 2008 and being a key member of our Test side when they scored their first ever away series wins in England and Australia and ascended to the No. 1 ranking in 2012.

“His ability to improvise has made him known as Mr. 360 degrees in white ball cricket and we will never ever forget those remarkable innings that earned him the fastest 50. 100 and 150 in ODI cricket. We are immensely grateful for what he has meant to South African cricket in all its constituencies and we wish him and his family everything of the best for the future.”