AB de Villiers, on Thursday (May 24), thanked all his well-wishers after receiving overwhelming support following the announcement of his decision to retire. The Proteas star had announced his retirement with immediate effect, leaving the cricketing world shell-shocked.

The 34-year posted a video on his Twitter handle to confirm the shocking news. He confirmed in the video on he had played his last game for South Africa.

“After 114 Test matches, 228 one day internationals and 78 T20 internationals it is time for others to take over. I’ve had my turn and to be honest I’m tired,” he said.

“This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it, and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic (test) series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.

“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing,” he added.

Credits: AFP

One of the most decorated batsmen in the history of the game, 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 Windies. He smashed a 31-ball 100 in Johannesburg in 2015 and hit a 66-ball 162 in the 2015 World Cup encounter in Sydney.

Credits: AFP

His extraordinary exploits on the field made him one of the most popular figures across the globe. And not surprisingly, tributes and good wishes poured in from all quarters as soon as he announced his decision.

De Villiers also did not take long to respond to all the messages. He took to Twitter to thank his well-wishers for their support which helped him pass through the last few tough and emotional days.

“Thank you to everyone – especially the players past and present, MY TEAMMATES and opponents – for their good wishes and understanding. The last few days have been tough and emotional, but I’m taken aback by all the love and support! #proteafire for life”