After leaving the fans and cricketing fraternity shell-shocked with his sudden retirement, South African coach Ottis Gibson registered his surprise regarding AB de Villiers’ decision to call it quit at the international level.
During a recent interaction, Gibson revealed he requested the Protean star batsman to extend his retirement plans until the impending World Cup in England and Wales next year.
However, AB declined the request from the West Indian, as he believes it is the right call after consulting the ‘important people’ close to him.
“The announcement came as a shock to me. He called me the morning before he made the announcement to tell me what he was planning to do,” Gibson told Wisden.
“We had a long conversation around, ‘Are you sure you are doing the right thing?’ He reckons that he is. He has spoken with the people who are close to him, and he reckons he is tired,” revealed the South African Head coach.
With almost 500 runs in the 11th season of IPL, looking at AB de Villiers, he could easily have had played for more couple of years. Therefore, his decision befuddled many in the world.
Also, ABD grabbed a stunning catch near the boundary line to dismiss SRH opener Alex Hales, which proved his evergreen agility on the field.
“We saw him in the IPL taking Spiderman catches and looking like he is enjoying his cricket. That’s why I said it was a shock. I did sort of say, What about giving away Test cricket and still playing one-day cricket with the World Cup coming up?” asked Gibson to ABD.
“He said he spoke about it with all the people he needed to speak to and that is the decision he has come to. Once he has made that decision, there is no point in me trying to get him to change his mind. He wouldn’t have made the decision lightly,” revealed the former English bowling coach.
With this recent development in South African cricket, Gibson now has to formulate a different strategy for the 2019 World Cup.
“We’ll have to alter our plans obviously, but it gives us enough time to do that. 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.”
“He has chosen to walk away from the game at this time, and it is what it is. Yes, it’s disappointing for the country and for world cricket. But it gives an opportunity for somebody to put their hand up,” concluded Ottis Gibson.