• AB’s Proteas career officially over

    Cricket South Africa has ‘confirmed discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all that his retirement will remain final’.

    Last month Proteas coach Mark Boucher said there was still a chance for De Villiers to be part of the Proteas T20 World Cup squad later this year.

    Talks between Cricket South Africa and De Villiers had been ongoing since last year as original preparation for the World Cup in Australia began.

    But, the postponement of the IPL due to the Covid-19 pandemic meant the focus shifted to 2021, with both Boucher and De Villiers admitting last year the door was open for the former Proteas captain to come out of retirement.

    ‘I did chat to him before he went to the IPL,’ Boucher said.

    ‘The conversation is still very much open. AB, being the person he is, he wanted to perform very well at the IPL, to prove to himself and everyone else that he is still a very key figure in world cricket and could dominate at that level. I said to him: “Go do your thing, and I’ll give you a shout towards the back end of the IPL”. So that is where we are with him.’

    De Villiers called time on his career back in 2018, but appeared keen to return to the international stage, although he was adamant to perform well in the respective 2020 and 2021 IPLs first.

    With the 2021 IPL postponed indefinitely, it may have been the final factor that closed the door on any potential return to international cricket for De Villiers.

    In a statement released by CSA on Tuesday after unveiling the Proteas touring team to West Indies, it was confirmed: ‘Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final.’

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    Craig Lewis