Former Cricket South Africa national selector Linda Zondi opened up on why he didn’t select star batsman AB de Villiers for the 2019 World Cup.
AB suddenly retired from international cricket in May 2018, a year before the ICC 2019 World Cup in England, which shocked the entire cricket world.
AB de Villiers was on a long break from Test cricket before his international retirement
AB had also missed some of the bilateral series before his retirement and had not played Test cricket for almost two years before making his appearance against India at home in January 2018.
Just before the World Cup, the former South Africa skipper made himself available for selection, but the CSA did not allowed him to play as it would have been unfair to other players who played regularly in the team at that time.
I thought it was unethical to the players: Linda Zondi
“When AB took a break [in 2017], he didn’t share the information with me. I contacted him and said I wasn’t happy with what you have done and he apologized,” Zondi told ESPNCricinfo.
“Then there was the World Cup, which was a massive story. The captain [Faf du Plessis] came to me and said AB would like to be included in the World Cup. I turned it down because AB had earlier come to me and said he wanted to retire and I told him [then] we need you in the World Cup in England.
“If there are certain series you miss, we can work with that. I said I am happy to manage your time and you can retire after the World Cup. He said no, he wants to retire. Then, Faf came that AB wanted to return. I turned it down. I thought it was unethical to the players who were part of the squad,” he added.
South Africa did not qualify for the semi-finals as they finished at seventh place on the points table, having won just three games and one game against West Indies had no result.