South Africa’s star batsman AB de Villiers on Wednesday announced his surprise retirement from all international cricket after a glittering 14-year career playing for the Proteas.
He announced his decision on Twitter on Wednesday bringing to a close an International career that spanned 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 Twenty20 internationals from which de Villiers scored over 20,014 runs.
The 34-year-old bows out as South Africa’s fourth most successful Test batsman with 8765 runs at 50.66, second-highest run-getter in ODIs with 9577 at 53.50 and second in T20Is with 1672 at 26.12. He scored 22 Test centuries and 25 in ODIs, with a best of 79* in T20Is.
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I’ve made a big decision today pic.twitter.com/In0jyquPOK
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) May 23, 2018
In announcing his retirement from the international game, de Villiers said he was “tired” and “running out of gas”.
“I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect,” he said in a statement.
“After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.”
The 34-year-old said it had taken him a long time to make the “tough” decision and that he decided to quit while still playing “decent cricket”.
“After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside,” he said.
“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing.”
He added he had no plans to play overseas but would continue in league competitions, saying: “It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on.”
“AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern day batting… to new levels,” said Cricket South Africa President Chris Nenzani.
CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said De Villiers’ decision ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales was disappointing but respected.
“AB has been a colossus on the world stage for well over a decade, his ability to improvise has made him known as Mr. 360 degrees in white ball cricket and we will never ever forget those remarkable innings that earned him the fastest 50. 100 and 150 in ODI cricket,” he said.
De Villiers made his debut in the format in December 2004 at Port Elizabeth, scoring 28 and 14 while opening the batting with his former captain Smith, in a seven-wicket loss to England. His first century came in his fifth Test, also against England, a match in which he made 92 in the first innings.
Since then, he morphed into a world-class batsman capable of shredding bowling attacks in any conditions whole captivating audiences around the world.
The first of his two Test double-centuries was an attacking 217 not out against India at Ahmedabad in April 2008, a match that South Africa wrapped up in three days.
His career-best of 278* was scored against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi in November 2010, a superb effort that in the company of Kallis helped South Africa recover from 33/3 to 584.
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