Former Proteas batsman Jonty Rhodes has effectively reserved judgement on whether former captain AB de Villiers should return for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
De Villiers, who stopped playing Test, ODI and T20I cricket in 2018, recently suggested coming out of international retirement to help South Africa’s bid to win the T20 World Cup.
Head coach Mark Boucher has reiterated the Proteas’ willingness to have De Villiers return. Boucher, however, has set a deadline of 1 June 2020 for a final decision on availability.
‘I think it’s interesting because it’s a tough call,” Rhodes told ESPNcricinfo.
‘You want your best team to play, it’s also tough on the guys who then miss out. You know AB is a very special player, so then do you set a precedent for a guy like AB? If he is not playing for South Africa, I mean, why are you selecting him?
‘I suppose a lot of people watch how he performed at the Indian Premier League, but just watching him in the Big Bash League, he’s such a class player – I’m a big fan of AB de Villiers. I’m just not sure of the precedent. If you want to win a T20 World Cup, you should do anything to win it.
‘You’re not breaking any rules, you are setting a slight precedent and you are going to be upsetting a few players who are going to miss out. But a team without AB de Villiers or a team with AB de Villiers, I’d love to see that guy play.
‘Although difficult to answer that because I’m not somebody who is missing out. I’m also not from the administration about setting this kind of precedent, so I don’t have to make that call. It’ll just be great to see AB de Villiers play at a World Cup again for us.’
South Africa have been pooled with India, England, Afghanistan and two qualifying teams for the T20 World Cup. The West Indies are the reigning champions.
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