AB de Villiers says he has no regrets about his international retirement.
The 34-year-old announced his retirement on Twitter in May and it caused quite a stir around the world.
De Villiers cited ‘tiredness’ as the primary reason behind his decision to quit the national team, saying he felt it was the correct time to walk away from the game. Some believed De Villiers could have given his country one final go at lifting that elusive World Cup trophy, while others respected his decision, saying he has given enough of himself to the game.
He scored 8,765 runs in 114 Tests, 9,577 runs in 228 ODIs and 1,672 in 78 T20Is – stats that prove his sacrifice and prolific run for his country.
‘I prefer to be out of the spotlight, to be honest,’ he told The Independent. ‘I’ve always been that kind of personality. When I became captain of the Proteas, things changed a bit. But I’ve always enjoyed having some personal time away from the game. Those are the kinds of things I really enjoy.
‘I know the right answer is probably to say I will always miss the game,’ he added.
‘But I truly believe that players who tell you they don’t feel the pressure of international cricket, being away from home for months at a time, are lying to everyone and themselves,’ said De Villiers.
‘It’s been unbearable at times: the pressure you have to face, performing day in and day out. The expectations that you put on yourself, from fans, from the country, from coaches.
‘It is huge, and it’s something that’s on your mind all the time as a cricketer. And it’s definitely something that I’m not going to miss. Absolutely no regrets.’
In his farewell video, De Villiers stated that he will return to South Africa to play domestic cricket for his country, but it is growing more likely that he will still play in T20 competitions around the world.
‘I know nothing will compare to that feeling of scoring runs in a big game. Thousands of people chanting your name. But in all fairness, I don’t miss it. Not yet. Maybe a year down the line. I’m still going to play for a few years, I’ll still play a little bit around the world. But on my own terms.’
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