Former South African batsman Khaya Zondo has lashed out at AB de Villiers for his “approach as a captain” during his international cricketing days.
In the Social Justice and Nation Building hearings, Zondo revealed that De Villiers orchestrated his exclusion from the Proteas XI in the series decider against India. During South Africa’s tour of India 2015, the ODI series between both sides was locked at 2-2, with final taking place at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Zondo stated that it was De Villiers who took him to a corner and broke the disheartening news to him.
“The captain (de Villiers) called me over to the side, away from the rest of the team and mentioned to me he was the one who felt I should not play. He was trying to explain himself and he was taking full responsibility for the decision,” said Zondo while reading out his submission to the Transformation Ombudsman, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza.
“I remember in the moment of him explaining himself to me, losing all respect for him as a captain, and as someone I looked up to as a cricketing hero of mine because I could not believe this guy was trying to justify himself to me, and it came across as if I should accept this decision because the decision came from him.”
Zondo concluded by saying he detached himself from the team after his conversation with De Villiers because he understood his services were not required.
“I switched off mentally for the rest of the day and I detached myself from the team because it was clear I was not wanted. Switching off helped me cope with everything that was happening. The hardest part was watching the players who were selected ahead of me playing and having the opportunity to shine for South Africa on a world stage, in India and having a chance to play and potentially impress and get future IPL opportunities.”
Zondo featured in 5 ODI matches for South Africa and scored 142 runs. He has had a modest average of 35.5 but a below-par strike rate of 63.4.