AB de Villiers slammed for his continued absence from South Africa’s Test side | cricket | Hindustan Times
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AB de Villiers slammed for his continued absence from South Africa’s Test side

AB de Villiers has been criticised by former teammates -- Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince -- on his decision to skip certain Test matches for South Africa.

cricket Updated: Aug 11, 2017 17:51 IST
HT Correspondent
AB de Villiers last played a Test for South Africa in January 2016.
AB de Villiers last played a Test for South Africa in January 2016.(Twitter )

On the field, South Africa are struggling without AB de Villiers, and off it, several former cricketers are engrossed in a lengthy battle over the future of the batting star, who remains on a self-imposed sabbatical from Test cricket.

Perhaps, a better showing in England — where South Africa lost three out of four Tests and resultantly suffered their first series defeat since 1998 — would not have left the country’s cricket fraternity reeling over the absence of just one batsman.

(Read | England cricket team can win Ashes, says Faf du Plessis)

De Villiers has been away for a very long time from the South African Test side, and when Faf du Plessis’ men defeated Australia once again Down Under late last year, it looked like they will find a way to thrive even with one of their best batsmen staying away.

De Villiers, according to reports, wanted to quit Test cricket in 2016 but Cricket South Africa (CSA) urged him to carry on. He had not played a Test since January 2016, and is planning a return during the South African summer wherein they take on India and Australia.

(Read | Mark Stoneman replaces Keaton Jennings in England squad for West Indies series)

While the likes of Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener have backed de Villiers to make a successful comeback, the incumbent South African captain du Plessis believes the enigmatic batsman — famous as Mr 360* — will not be returning to Test cricket.

The matters took ugly turn when three former South African cricketers — Herschelle Gibbs, Ashwell Prince and Paul Harris — got involved in a spat on Twitter.

(Read | Murali Vijay says he doesn’t ‘feel 100 per cent’ but is ready for comeback)

It all began with Gibbs posting a tweet which attracted animated responses from fans and former cricketers alike.

Gibbs went on to comment that unlike de Villiers, former cricketer Jacques Kallis kept on playing and ‘never disrespected the team and the game’.

He also added that Kallis achieved more than de Villiers.

(Read | Jonty Rhodes likens Rohit Sharma’s on-field demeanour to Jacques Kallis)

Former opener Ashwell Prince joined in soon, and criticised Gibbs for the comments he made.

An agitated Prince also swatted a tweet from former South African spinner Paul Harris.

Prince did not give a lot of respect to former South African spinner Simon Harmer as well, who had merely tried to break the ice.

Meanwhile, de Villiers is expected to meet the authorities from CSA sometime in August to take a call on his Test future.