South Africa’s white-ball captain Quinton de Kock has confirmed that former batsman AB de Villiers was in line to make an international comeback and play the T20 World Cup which was originally scheduled to take place later this year in Australia. De Kock’s admission is in line with discussions in December last year, when then-captain Faf du Plessis and newly-appointed head coach Mark Boucher had confirmed that conversations had been ongoing to bring de Villiers back into South Africa’s T20I squad.

“He was definitely in line. If fit, I would have loved to have AB de Villiers,” the 27-year-old de Kock said while speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected. “I think any team would have loved to have AB de Villiers in their team. While we were pushing for him, now we will have to see when the T20 World Cup is going to happen now.”

For months, the former Proteas skipper de Villiers, who announced his retirement from international cricket in 2018, had shown eagerness to return for South Africa’s T20 World Cup campaign. However, the quadrennial tournament has now been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, doubts have resurfaced about de Villiers’ return.

The 36-year-old de Villiers hung up his boots in 2018 after featuring in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is for the South Africa.

de Villiers recently put on a show with the bat and helped his team clinch the gold medal in the inaugural 3TC tournament in Centurion. Following his 24-ball 61 over two halves, he remained coy over his potential return to the national team.

“I don’t know what to expect to be honest. It has been quite a few months now and nothing really has been properly scheduled yet,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by iol.co.za.

“Obviously I would just like to get out there and play cricket. There are lots of talks, but in the meantime, I will stay fit in the gym and hit cricket balls. Hopefully, the virus moves on and we can get back to as normal as possible in no time.”

Even before the 2019 World Cup, there were reports that de Villiers was ready to come out of retirement and play in the showpiece event in England and Wales but the move didn’t materialise in the end.