Former South Africa skipper AB de Villiers has finally broken his silence since the storm that begun during the ICC World Cup 2019. There were speculations that de Villiers had made himself available for selection for the World Cup just before the day of the squad announcement. But the legendary batsman has finally come out with his side of the story now that South Africa’s campaign for the World Cup is over.

De Villiers finally breaks his silence

Ab de Villiers shocked the cricketing world when he announced his retirement in May 2018, exactly one year before the World Cup. But speculations galore, when reports emerged that the former Proteas cricketer has expressed his desire to play the World Cup one day before the squad announcement. South Africa had an awful campaign in England to became the first team to bow out of the competition.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers (Credits: Getty Images)

Also read: ICC World Cup 2019: It Was Team’s Decision To Hold Back MS Dhoni, Reveals Ravi Shastri

De Villiers has revealed that on the day he announced his international retirement a person within the Cricket South Africa set-up asked him whether he was available to play the World Cup. De Villiers said yes then, but insisted that he did not force for late inclusion when he contacted skipper Faf du Plessis shortly before the squad announcement. However, AB de Villiers refused to divulge the name of the person but admitted that the conversation with that official prompted him to have a light conversation with du Plessis.

“On the day of my [retirement] announcement, I was privately asked whether ‘the door was still open’ for me to play in the World Cup,” de Villiers said in a statement. “I quickly replied ‘Yes’. With hindsight, maybe I should have just said no, but my natural instinct has always been to find a way to oblige whenever possible.

Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers (Credits: Getty)

Also read: MS Dhoni Should Have Batted At No Five, Says Sunil Gavaskar

“During the weeks and months that followed, there was no formal contact between Cricket South Africa or the Proteas and me. I didn’t call them, and they didn’t call me. Faf and I have been friends since we were at school together and, two days before the World Cup squad was announced, I contacted him for a chat. I had been in decent form during the Indian Premier League and casually repeated what I had said when asked a year earlier, that I was available if required… but only if required.

“I made absolutely no demands at all. I certainly did not try to force my way into the World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament and did not expect to be included. There was no burning issue from my side and no sense of injustice,” the statement added.

5 Top Performers In ICC World Cup 2015 Who Will Be Missed In ICC World Cup 2019
AB de Villiers Credits – Getty Images

Also read: Sunil Gavaskar Questions Ambati Rayudu’s Omission From World Cup Squad

Furthermore, AB de Villiers said that he didn’t speak out earlier because of the ongoing World Cup, which could have distracted South Africa’s campaign. The South African great also added he chose this time to speak because of the criticisms that followed.

AB de Villiers has represented South Africa 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, and 114 T20Is scoring over 19000 international runs across the formats. He is one of the most loved cricketers across the globe and has a strong fan base in India. With a lot of vengeance coming out from Cricket South Africa’s side, de Villiers comments will put things into perspective as South Africa look to fight back from the bedrock in the upcoming series.

Here is the full statement made by AB de Villiers: