Former Proteas captain AB de Villiers has revealed that the team’s exit from the 2015 Cricket World Cup by narrowly losing to New Zealand in the semi-final haunted him in the aftermath.
De Villiers, who led the team at the event and was in excellent personal form throughout, says it took him quite a while to process and get over the defeat where Grant Elliot steered the Black Caps to a dramatic victory in the final over in Auckland.
‘The next 12 months was really tough for me. Maybe I should’ve been more honest about it when I look back and communicated about it. I felt like I was a little bit alone at the time, but it’s silly to say that you’re alone if you don’t seek help, if you don’t talk about it,’ De Villiers told Cricbuzz.
‘If I could have it over again, I would probably open up discussions with the coach, administrators and discuss my way forward. I should’ve shared my emotions with them and things that bothered me. I didn’t.
‘That really wore me down a touch, but I kept playing, I tried to bite the bullet, I tried to be there. I was batting really well. I still had incredible friendships and memories,’ De Villiers said.
De Villiers released his autobiography close to 18 months after that match at Eden Park and never quite publicly stated the hurt and disappointment he and the team suffered in the aftermath.
He also admitted that this specific defeat played a significant role in his decision to eventually retire from all international cricket in 2018.
‘We got beaten by sport on the night and it was actually a beautiful thing, but it was difficult for me to get through that year and to specifically meet up with the team again a few months later, having to go again. Here we go again, we have to restart but I am like, hold on, I am not over this World Cup.
‘It hurt too much. So, yes, I am sensitive and those kinds of things play a huge role in how I feel and my ambitions,’ added the 36-year-old.