Dale Steyn has made an emotional tribute to AB de Villiers following the news that the South African batsman has retired from all forms of international cricket.
De Villiers steps away from the top level of the game after a distinguished career which has brought him more than 19,000 runs across Tests, one-day internationals and T20Is. And fast bowler Steyn, who played alongside his Proteas team-mate for more than a decade – wrote a touching open letter to De Villiers.
Steyn and ABD go back a long way, having made their debuts in the same match – the opening Test in a five-match series against England in Port Elizabeth – back in December 2004. This after also having come through the youth ranks at the Titans at pretty much the same time.
Both 34, the duo have gone on to form the core of their national side in all formats, breaking records in the process as De Villiers finished his career with the most One Day International records by a South African, among many other achievements, while Steyn is still agonisingly close to the country’s record for most Test wickets.
While they might still come across one another on the cricket field, but on opposite camps, the man known as “The Phalaborwa Express” took to Instagram, where he briefly documented his 14-year journey with his esteemed now-former teammate.
Here is Dale Steyn’s emotional letter for AB de Villiers:
“We started this cricket thing way back in 2004. We’ve seen the world, met amazing people, played the great teams and beaten the best there is in it too.
“We’ve shared change rooms, been roomies, golf partners, McDonald’s after late nights.
“You’re a champion man in my book bud, and I’m pretty sure in everyone else’s too.
“Congratulations on a stellar international career, it’s been an incredible journey and privilege to have shared it with you.
“There’ll never be another AB de Villiers.”