• Boucher: Why AB opted against Proteas return

    Proteas head coach Mark Boucher has explained the reasoning behind AB de Villiers’ decision to remain retired while reiterating his respect for the star batsman’s decision.

    Cricket South Africa on Tuesday confirmed that De Villiers will not come out of retirement to join the Proteas in their upcoming tours of the West Indies and Ireland.

    CSA announced the respective Test and limited-overs squads for those series, which gets under way at the end of June.

    According to Boucher, De Villiers’ decision not to make a much-anticipated return to international cricket comes down the idea of him walking into the team and taking someone else’s place.

    ‘AB has his reasons, which I respect,’ Boucher told The Citizen.

    ‘Unfortunately he’s no longer in the mix. I say unfortunately because I think we all agree that he’s still one of the best – if not the best – T20 players in world cricket,’ Boucher said.

    ‘But he alluded to being concerned about coming in ahead of other players who have been a part of the system. I don’t think it sat well with him, which I understand.

    ‘But as a coach I needed to try and get our best players, for the team and the environment. AB is an energy booster in any environment, but I respect his reasoning. It was worth a go, but now let’s move forward.’

    Boucher confirmed earlier this year that discussions were under way between himself and De Villiers to determine if the star batsman could join up with the Proteas ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year.

    De Villiers, though, first wanted to show his worth at the 2021 IPL, which was ultimately cut short.

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    Andre Huisamen