South Africa’s batting superstar AB de Villiers has decided against a return to international cricket and will not represent his country at this year’s ICC T20 World Cup that is scheduled to take place in India, officials confirmed on Wednesday. De Villiers, who surprised the cricketing fraternity by announcing a sudden retirement from international cricket in 2018, was in talks with Cricket South Africa to make a return in the Proteas side for the quadrennial event. But SA head coach Mark Boucher revealed the real reason behind de Villiers’ turning down the offer for an international comeback, calling the development unfortunate while adding that he respects AB’s decision and it was time to move on.
The 37-year-old de Villiers was recently seen in action for franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL 2021. He continues to leave fans and experts awestruck with his ability to dominate world-class bowling attacks despite not playing international cricket since 2018.
“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 was quoted as saying by The Citizen, a South African media outlet.
“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.
Boucher said that he wanted to assemble his best players for the World Cup scheduled to be held in October-November in India. But he added that South Africa will have to respect de Villiers’s decision and move forward.
“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.”
Cricket South Africa had issued a statement on Tuesday confirming that de Villiers’s decision to retire was final and he won’t be making a comeback.
“Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final,” CSA said in a statement posted on social media.