The cricketing world was mighty surprised when news came out that AB de Villiers had offered to play for South Africa in the ongoing World Cup. The former South Africa skipper had conveyed his desire to South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis, coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi. However, the Proteas’ team-management turned down the offer.
According to media reports, there were two reasons behind de Villiers getting the rejection. The first one was that de Villiers had retired in May 2018, exactly a year before the World Cup was scheduled. Thereafter, he did not fulfil the selection criteria, which included playing South African domestic cricket or international cricket in the intervening months. Secondly, the team-management felt that including de Villiers would have been unfair on the players who have been performing in his absence.
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The news comes on the back of South Africa’s disastrous campaign in the World Cup. The Proteas are on the brink of elimination after losing their opening three games. On Wednesday, they suffered a crushing 6-wicket loss at the hands of India. South Africa may now need to win all six of its remaining group fixtures to stand a chance of progressing ahead.
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But amidst all these news, AB de Villiers himself took to Twitter to make it clear what the focus should be at this time. The legendary batsman said that everyone should focus on supporting the Proteas in the World Cup. He also said that his team can still go all the way, writing:
“All that’s important is that we should all focus on supporting the team at the World Cup. There is a long way to go and I believe the boys can still go all the way #ProteaFire”
All that’s important is that we should all focus on supporting the team at the World Cup. There is a long way to go and I believe the boys can still go all the way #ProteaFire
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) June 6, 2019