AB de Villiers’ offer of making a last-minute entry in the South African squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was rejected by the Proteas team management, ESPNcricinfo reported on Thursday (June 6).
De Villiers, who announced his retirement from international cricket in May 2018, is said to have made the offer just 24 hours before South Africa’s selectors named the 15-man squad for the World Cup.
The 35-year-old is said to have spoken to captain Faf du Plessis, coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi, but his request was ‘not even considered’.
The reason why De Villiers’s offer was refused is that he didn’t play any domestic cricket or international cricket in the intervening months, which was against the Proteas’ selection criteria rules.
It was reported that his inclusion wouldn’t have been fair on other players who have been performing in the last few months. Players like Rassie van der Dussen could have missed out despite scoring three fifties in his first four ODI innings.
The revelation was made after South Africa’s six wickets defeat against India on Wednesday – their third straight defeat in the ongoing World Cup.
The Du Plessis-led side will now have to win all of their remaining games to reach the semifinals. Their next match is against West Indies on June 10 in Southampton.
De Villiers also recently revealed that he wanted to play the World Cup but felt cornered by expectation and criticism.
“I was keen to play in the World Cup, but I left, I retired. So it was a very sensitive situation. For the last three years of my career, I was labelled as a guy who is picking and choosing when I was playing and when not. So I got quite a lot of criticism from back home, which also played a role in me retiring. And it was difficult for me to then go ‘hey, but I’ll still play the World Cup’. It’s that picking and choosing thing again, and it’s quite arrogant to do something like that. But as they say, you can’t have your bread buttered on both sides,” said de Villiers, while talking to Gaurav Kapur for an episode of ‘Breakfast with Champions’.
“I felt cornered. It’s always been about the team, it’s never been about myself. But I found myself in a position where I had to make a decision where it’s going to look like I’m just thinking about myself.”