Ottis Gibson says AB de Villiers’ retirement came as a surprise to him.
De Villiers stunned the world on Wednesday when he retired from international cricket, which sparked a wide range of responses to his decision.
Gibson, who addressed the media on Monday, was building plans that included the 34-year-old.
‘The announcement came as a shock to me,’ Gibson said on Monday.
‘We had a conversation. He called me the morning before he made the announcement, telling me what he was planning to do.
‘We had a long conversation around whether he was making the right decision and he has spoken to the people closest to him and he reckons that he is.’
This will have a major impact on the Proteas’ World Cup campaign in 2019.
‘He is one of the best players in the world. He could have made a huge difference in the World Cup and he knows that. We all know that. He’s chosen to walk away from the game and it is what it is,’ said Gibson.
‘Yes, it’s disappointing for the country and world cricket that AB de Villiers isn’t playing cricket anymore.
‘I don’t believe he can be replaced, but it gives an opportunity for somebody else to put their hand up. There is a space there that somebody can fill now.’
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