Superman AB de Villiers ‘runs out of gas’, retires from international cricket
Cape Town: South Africa batsman AB de Villiers has announced his decision to retire from international cricket with immediate effect, stating, via a video message, that he had “run out of gas.” The 34-year-old batsman said ‘the time is right’ for him to hang up his boots, bringing a close to a stellar 14-year career.
“I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect,” de Villiers said on Wednesday. “After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired,” de Villiers said.
De Villiers finishes his career with a staggering 20,014 international runs (8765 in Tests, 9577 in ODIs and 1672 in T20Is) and signs off with a batting average over 50 in both Tests (50.66) and ODIs (53.50).
It was widely expected that de Villiers would play on for South Africa, at least in the limited-overs formats, until the 2019 World Cup in England, given his frequent proclamations of wanting to win a major title with the national team.
His sabbatical from Test cricket between January 2016 and December 2017 due to a combination of fitness and personal concerns, was expected to have the knock-on effect of brightening his prospects of a swansong at the World Cup in England. He returned late 2017, as captain, in the four-day Test against Zimbabwe at the start of South Africa’s home season, pledging his allegiance to all three formats. However, the exhilarating wins over India and Australia in which de Villiers played a key role with 211 and 427 runs respectively, left him ‘drained out’.
“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 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. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years. The most important thank you goes out to all of my team mates throughout my career, I wouldn’t be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years.
“It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.
“I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”
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