Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has reiterated his desires of representing the Proteas again, this time in the upcoming T20 World Cup. The comment has come less than a month after newly-appointed South Africa head coach and his former teammate Mark Boucher stated that he would not shy away from talking to AB de Villiers about a potential return to international cricket.
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Last year too, AB de Villiers had expressed his desire of playing in the World Cup but the South Africa team-management decided against recalling him. South Africa had a disastrous campaign as they bowed out of the competition at the league stage. The right-handed batsman had announced his retirement from international cricket in 2018 owing to workload.
Since then, he has continued playing in T20 leagues across the world. On Tuesday, he made his debut in the Big Bash League while playing for Brisbane Heat. AB de Villiers made an instant impact as he scored 40 and helped his side recover from a shaky start to chase down a modest 110 against Adelaide Strikers. After the game, he once again made it clear that he would love to represent his country in this year’s T20 World Cup.
“There’s a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality,” the 35-year-old said.
“I would love to. I’ve been talking to ‘Bouch’ (Mark Boucher), (new director of cricket) Graeme Smith and (captain) Faf (du Plessis) back home, we’re all keen to make it happen.
“It’s a long way away still, and plenty can happen – there’s the IPL coming up, I’ve still got to be in form at that time. So I’m thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out.
“It’s not a guarantee once again. I don’t want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I’m just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year,” he added.
Easier to communicate:
With a number of former players in the Cricket South Africa setup, AB de Villiers believes that communicating with the board is easier now. His comments also made it more or less clear that the possibility of a sensational return to international cricket seems more feasible.
“There are a lot of players (involved with CSA) who I used to play with,” he said.“Guys who understand the game, leaders of the team for many years.
“So it’s much easier to communicate than what it used to be in the past. They understand what players go through – especially players that have played for 15 years internationally.
“It doesn’t mean that everything is going to be sunshine and roses but it’s definitely a lot easier and it feels comfortable, the language that’s being used and just the feel that everyone has at the moment in South Africa about the cricket,” he added.
AB de Villiers is one of the finest batsmen to have played for South Africa. He scored a staggering 20,014 international runs (8765 in Tests, 9577 in ODIs and 1672 in T20Is). He also finished his career with a batting average over 50 in both Tests, and ODIs. The right-hander also holds the record for the fastest 50, fastest 100 and fastest 150 in ODIs, all coming against the West Indies. He smashed a 31-ball 100 in Johannesburg in 2015 and hit a 66-ball 162 in the 2015 World Cup encounter in Sydney.