Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers stunned his fans and supporters after deciding not to return to international cricket representing the rainbow nation in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
De Villiers had given hints last month that he was in talks with Mark Boucher concerning his comeback in the national team. However, on Tuesday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed that De Villiers had decided not to join the Proteas side ahead of the mega T20 event.
“Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once, and for all that, his retirement will remain final,” a release stated from CSA.
Now, Boucher, the head coach of CSA, has thrown light on the whole matter, stating it’s ‘unfortunate’ that the Pretoria-lad won’t come out of retirement as he is one of the best players of the shortest format.
“AB has his reasons, which I respect. Unfortunately, he’s no longer in the mix. I say unfortunately because I think we all agree that he’s still one of the best if not the best T20 players in world cricket,” Boucher said, as quoted by The Citizen.
Boucher explained the presence of De Villiers would surely help the youngsters and boost the team environment, but he respects his stand, and it’s time to move on.
“But he alluded to being concerned about coming in ahead of other players who have been a part of the system. I don’t think it sat well with him, which I understand,” added the 44-year-old.
“As a coach, I needed to try and get our best players for the team and the environment. AB is an energy booster in any environment, but I respect his reasoning. It was worth a go, but now let’s move forward,” Boucher added further.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, CSA also announced the all-format squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies. The likes of Kagiso Rabada, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Quinton de Kock will be joining the squad after fulfilling the duties for their respective franchises in the now-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The tour of Windies starts with the red-ball series on June 10.