AB de Villiers is unlikely to be seen again in international cricket. Cricket South Africa has said the former captain’s decision to retire is final.
Cricket South Africa’s statement on Tuesday did not go into much detail about AB de Villiers. The main discussion was with the West Indies tour team. “AB De Villiers has decided for the last time that the decision to retire will be final,” he said.
There have been rumors about De Villiers‘ return for the past few days. When he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL last month, he hinted at returning to the national team, looking forward to talks with coach Mark Boucher.
This discussion was even earlier. De Villiers said goodbye to international cricket in 2018. His departure in the year before the World Cup surprised many. However, the rumors of his return started rising a few days after his retirement.
Before the 2019 World Cup, de Villiers expressed his interest in returning on his own. However, just before the World Cup, the board did not agree to his return, thinking that it would not disrupt the team’s plans and unity.
Rumors of De Villiers’ return began in late 2019 when Graeme Smith took over as the board’s cricket director and Mark Boucher as the team’s head coach. This time around, the discussion about his return continues around the T20 World Cup. However, when the World Cup was postponed due to Kovid’s anger, the arrangements for his return also came to a halt.
He had positive discussions with Boucher again during the IPL last October-November. This time too, the discussion was with the T20 World Cup in mind. Even during the IPL last month, he seemed quite enthusiastic about returning to the national team. Now everything is over. The reason though has not been clarified yet.
De Villiers continues to play franchise cricket despite retiring from international cricket. At the age of 37, his performance in the IPL was great.