• AB: I’ve always been a people pleaser

    Former Proteas captain AB de Villiers remains comfortable with last year’s decision to retire from international cricket despite ongoing criticism.

    The Proteas are smarting from last week’s two-nil Test series defeat to Sri Lanka – and the middle order is arguably missing a batsman of De Villiers’ prowess.

    ‘You can never keep everyone happy. I’ve always been a people pleaser. I’m very passionate about my country, but I’m at a stage of my life where I’ve moved on,’ De Villiers told Standard Sport.

    ‘There are people who think I should still be playing, but the international scene just became a little bit too much for me with my family and a few other things.

    ‘You have to answer to yourself, look yourself in the mirror and that’s what I’ve done. The most important people to please are your family.’

    The 35-year-old won’t be a part of South Africa’s World Cup preparation, but will represent Middlesex in the T20 Blast in the United Kingdom later this year. De Villiers played two of his 114 Tests at Lord’s, which is Middlesex’s homeground.

    ‘It’s exciting that the opportunity to play county cricket has finally come along. And I couldn’t hope for a better club to join. The international schedule was always just too hectic for it to happen sooner. Playing your cricket at Lord’s is a special bonus. I never made it on to that honours board, but I have great memories of playing there,’ he added.

    ‘I’ve made peace with the fact that the World Cup will not define me. Yes, it would be nice to add that to what’s been a very enjoyable career, but I know it won’t define me as a person or cricketer.’

    Photo: Gallo

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    Jonhenry Wilson