Former Proteas spinner PAT SYMCOX says AB de Villiers put himself rather than his country first when quitting his international career.
I am extremely disappointed that AB de Villiers has called time on his international career. He has always talked up his passion to play for the Proteas and it seems to me this decision flies in the face of that.
Over the years I have spoken to AB many times and he comes across as a wonderful guy. His love for South Africa and his passion to play for the national team have always been palpable, so his decision to step aside tells me that the passion is suddenly no longer there.
It’s a very sad day for South African cricket.
De Villiers has done a lot for South Africa over the course of his 14-year career but, equally, South Africa has done a lot for him as well. I’m disappointed in the way that he has gone about his retirement, as I believe he has missed a trick and could have done it in a more opportune way. If AB was truly sensitive to what the supporters were expecting, he would have announced his decision sooner, played a farewell game and been given a proper send-off, as is the norm. However, he is clearly not too fazed.
To my mind, De Villiers’ sudden retirement shouts: ‘Cheers, I’m out of here and to hell with the World Cup too.’
AB is up there with the best we have had in the modern era in terms of an out-and-out batsman, and the bottom line is that the Proteas needed him in their quest to win the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup.
‘Mr. 360 Degrees’ has put us in a predicament as a country as we are undoubtedly poorer for him not playing. There have been other players for the Proteas who have been as talented but, at this point in time, where the accent is on the shortened format of the game, I believe AB would have shone in said limelight. I wouldn’t say he is the best we have ever had – Graeme Pollock and Barry Richards hold that honour – but he was as good a batsman as we have seen since South Africa’s sporting readmission.
To my mind, De Villiers’ sudden retirement shouts: “Cheers, I’m out of here and to hell with the World Cup too.” – Pat Symcox.
De Villiers is gifted in every department of the gentleman’s game. Over and above his incredible batting, he is also a great fielder, highly-effective wicketkeeper and can even lay claim to nine wickets in international cricket.
Yes, the body gets tired, but why call it quits at the age of 34? I played for the Proteas until I was 39. I know that times have changed, but the love of playing for your country should stay the same. There were some great players along the way that were only too happy to be playing for the Proteas. I will remember AB for his greatness at batting, but also as the guy who retired without an injury before an important World Cup. AB needed to put his country first but failed to do so with this decision.
I hear that AB has designs on playing for the Titans going forward. To be honest, I couldn’t give a continental about him playing domestic cricket when he could have been a major player for the Proteas at a World Cup. I believe winning a maiden Cricket World Cup would uplift and unite our country like never before. By all accounts, it could have an even bigger impact on nation-building than our Rugby World Cup triumphs in 1995 and 2007, because cricket is a more integrated sport.
Some conspiracy theorists have suggested that De Villiers could make a dramatic U-turn at some point and avail himself for World Cup selection. However, from what I’m gathering his decision is final. The fact that he chose to retire without prior discussion with Cricket South Africa says to me that there had been very little dialogue going on between employer and employee.
As the CEO of a company, if you discover out of the blue that one of your long-standing employees is grossly unhappy and is leaving your organisation then, by all accounts, you would have to shoulder some of the blame.
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