As Cricket South Africa officially declared on 23rd May, AB De Villiers, the superman of cricket, has retired from all forms of international cricket effective immediately.
His decision certainly came as a shock to the cricketing community. “I have had my turn and to be honest, I am tired” said AB De Villiers earlier, making his decision public.
De Villiers, 34, made his first appearance in 2004 against England in a test match debut in Port Elizabeth and went on to become one of the most prominent cricketers of our generation. This South African batsman who made 360 batting popular was a living embodiment of entertainment on the field with a bat in his hand. He had played a total of 114 tests, 228 one-days international and 78 T20 internationals and has a total of 20,014 runs against his name across all formats.
Wanting to walk away while he was still in a good touch, an emotional De Villiers said, “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. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding. I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”
De Villiers has long expressed his desire to win a world cup playing for South Africa. He even took a break from test cricket in the 2016-17 season to avoid burnout and reserve himself for the world cup 2019.
With the decision coming now, de Villiers’ last international appearance will remain the last Test against Australia in Johannesburg, which South Africa won by 492 runs to win the series 3-1. In that match, de Villiers scored 69 and 6 to finish the series with 427 runs at an average of 71.16.
In recent days, De Villiers had become riddled with injuries and perhaps the fear of getting thrown out into oblivion had prompted him to make this untimely decision that has surely come as a blow to his fans and well-wishers.
De Villiers’ name might not get written down in history along with the likes of the cricketing greats such as Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman. But he will forever be remembered for his superhuman abilities in the field, no matter how short his career span was. It was not the quantity, but the quality of the game he played that had always spoken up when describing the calibre of AB De Villiers’ cricketing abilities.
As Rafid Rahman Turjya, a student of Dhaka University and a long-time fan puts it: “No matter what team you supported, you had to root for him. He scored, he entertained, he delivered. Very few ever live up to their talents like he did. Abraham Benjamin De Villiers, International Cricket will surely miss your Superhuman Calber. Take a bow, mister.”