Cricket South Africa has put an end to rumours about AB de Villiers’ return to international cricket, reporting that talks with the batsman have ‘concluded,’ with him agreeing “once and for all” that his retirement will be permanent.
The Cricket South Africa, on Tuesday announced the squads for the Ireland and West Indies series, with off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen joining the Proteas Test squad for next month’s two-match series against the West Indies in St. Lucia.
Lizaad Williams, a former South Africa under-19s teammate, has also been called up to the national Test squad, joining the 27-year-old from Durban.
Dean Elgar will captain the 19-man Test squad for the first time since his permanent appointment in early March, while Temba Bavuma will lead the 20-man white ball squad against the West Indies and Ireland.
AB de Villiers Retirement Will Remain Final
With the ICC T20 World Cup approaching, there were talks between CSA and de Villiers about coming out of retirement and donning the yellow and green jersey once again. Even AB de Villiers looked interested in making a comeback, according to his previous statements, but an agreement couldn’t be struck.
CSA has now said that de Villiers has “once and for all” decided that his retirement will remain final.
“Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final,” Cricket South Africa said in a statement.
AB, who is part of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, played 7 games in the pandemic affected 2021 edition, scoring 207 runs with two fifties to his name. AB was also donning the big gloves for his franchise.
The possibility of a comeback for AB was being discussed through the course of the last year or so with former teammates Graeme Smith and head coach Mark Boucher optimistic.
“I haven’t had a discussion with Bouchy (SA Head Coach Mark Boucher) yet. We are lined up to have a chat somewhere during the IPL but yes we have been talking about it,” de Villiers had said in April during the IPL.
“Last year, he asked me if I would be interested. And I said, ‘absolutely’. And come the end of the IPL, we will have a look at where we are at with regards to my form and my fitness,” he added.
It was in 2018 that de Villiers had decided to hang his boots from international cricket to surprise the cricketing fraternity around the globe.
Meanwhile, in another shocking decision, CSA have decided not to include their top batsman Faf du Plessis in their ODI squad against Ireland and T20I squad against West Indies.
Du Plessis took retirement from Tests earlier this year but was expecting to contribute especially in the T20 format with the World Cup looming later in the year. It remains to be seen if he is not available or not considered for the tours.