Former South Africa captain and a legend of the captivating game AB de Villiers was an absolute genius. His dextrous batting technique, incredible power-hitting, and ability to innovate fresh shots have made him one of the most supremely talented batsmen of the 21st century.
Even after bidding farewell to international cricket, De Villiers continued playing in the various T20 leagues, and that’s the prime reason he remains as one of the most popular players in the cricketing world.
Apart from the domination in the batting department, De Villiers was also an extremely skilful skipper of the game. He led South Africa in the 2015 World Cup where the Proteas lost the semi-final against New Zealand, but many cricket fans hailed their sportsman spirit in the global showpiece event.
However, now a report in South African news outlet News 24 suggests a completely different story which may put De Villiers’ fans in shock.
As per the report, in the 2015 tour of India, the selectors had named batsman Khaya Zondo in the squad and later for the fifth ODI, he was picked in the team. But, De Villiers didn’t want Zondo in the playing XI. In fact, the Pretoria-born had threatened the selectors to walk out of the series if his wishes were not fulfilled.
During the tour, JP Duminy got injured, and South Africa team management had to call Dean Elgar as a replacement of Duminy. Zondo, who was a part of the squad, had to remain on the bench.
When the India tour finished, a group named ‘Black Players in Unity’ was formed which spoke of the controversy involving Zondo. The group alleged that Cricket South Africa requires a certain number of black players to be included in the team, but they were only made to ‘carry water’ on the pitch.
Last month, former South African cricketer Ashwell Prince shed lights on the controversial issue and tweeted about the mistreatment that Zondo received.
Literally every WC since, or poor series blamed on TRANSFORMATION, or otherwise translated if you like, “because we have to play with these people” 2016 in India, ZONDO selected by selectors, IN THE STARTING 11 ( I know, because I was a selector) Zondo doesn’t play? Why?
— Ashwell Prince (@ashyp_5) July 10, 2020
It was also reported that in 2015 that De Villiers was forced to play speedster Vernon Philander in the team. However, ABD wanted Kyle Abbott in the playing XI.