• Faf on AB’s request: A phone call on the eve

    Faf du Plessis provided clarity on exactly when AB de Villiers made contact to procure a late call-up to the World Cup, and insists they are still friends, writes DANIEL GALLAN in London.

    New broke last week that De Villiers had made a last-ditch attempt to join the 15-man World Cup squad, a request unanimously turned down by Du Plessis, coach Ottis Gibson and Cricket South Africa.

    Yesterday, Gibson said that the two former schoolmates had been in contact during the IPL, but Du Plessis gave a confusing account of events.

    ‘He didn’t come to me. It was just a conversation, a phone call the night before the team was announced.

    ‘It was just a “This is what I’m feeling”.

    ‘I said to him that I thought it was too late, but that I would check in with the coach and the selectors the next morning to get their opinion on it as the squad were already announced or picked.

    ‘When I spoke to the coach and the selectors the next day, they all agreed that it was way, way too late to change the team.’

    Despite talk of De Villiers’ last-gasp request, whispers of tension between the pair was quashed by Du Plessis, who insists the pair are still friends.

    ‘AB and I are still friends,’ the Proteas skipper said.

    ‘This incident has not changed that. This is a small thing for a friendship that goes so way back.’

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