Faf du Plessis, former South African captain, has revealed why he did not ask his friend and former Proteas superstar batsman AB de Villiers to come out of retirement despite the fact that South African cricket desperately needed the service of the talismanic cricket at the time.
AB de Villiers shocked the cricketing folklore when he decided to call it quits from all forms of the game in the summer of 2018. De Villiers, who had helped South Africa win the home Test series against Indian and Australia earlier that year, cited the lack of motivation to continue on the international circuit.
Faf Du Plessis recently appeared on Ravichandran Ashwin’s Youtube show ‘DRS with Ash’ where he opened up on the instance when AB de Villiers apprised him of his decision to call it quits from all forms of the game in international cricket.
Faf du Plessis opens up on AB de Villiers retirement
Faf Du Plessis said that even though he and South African cricket needed the services of AB de Villiers desperately at that point in time, the friend in him trumped the captain and he decided to support the champion wicketkeeper-batsman in his decision.
”When AB left, it was really tough for me, because I depended a lot on him, as a friend, and obviously as the best player in the team; we needed his skills. So that conversation was … when he said that to me, said he was done, he was finished with international cricket, as a friend, my first instinct was, ‘I’m here for you, and I’ll support you, if you feel like you’re at the end of your career and you don’t want to do it anymore, then that’s okay – I support that decision 100 percent” Faf du Plessis added.
”As a captain, I was like – ‘how do we move forward without AB, how do we get the same performances?’ But the friend in me trumped the captain in me. And I just said, ‘We’re going to miss you, are you sure?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I am 100 per cent sure, I don’t want to play international cricket anymore. I don’t have the drive to do it anymore. So I am stopping.” he said.
“I respected that immediately and left it there. I never ever after that tried to convince him again, because I respected what he said. Even at times when we desperately needed him.” Du Plessis added.
In the past 12 months, there have been a lot of speculations on whether AB could come out of retirement for the T20 World Cup. But with the quadrennial event getting postponed by a year, it looks highly unlikely that we’ll see De Villiers representing South Africa again.