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
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.
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.
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.
It all began with Gibbs posting a tweet which attracted animated responses from fans and former cricketers alike.
Interesting article this..captain putting a player on a pedestal! Never thought I'd see this..anyway pic.twitter.com/F6u17j0sVD— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
Gibbs went on to comment that unlike de Villiers, former cricketer Jacques Kallis kept on playing and ‘never disrespected the team and the game’.
Kallis achieved more than ab ever will but he kept on playing and never disrespected the team and the game.remember that— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
He also added that Kallis achieved more than de Villiers.
But kallis achieved much more than ab so what's ur point? No one player bigger than the game bud...team game— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
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.
Is that why you replied to me on twitter and not DM? Off course there are better ways to deal with things, and we expect leaders to do that. https://t.co/otWD8guWdU— Ashwell Prince (@ashyp_5) August 11, 2017
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.
Oh wow! Love it when true colors come out. In case you didn't realize, it's 2017, everyone's entitled to an opinion. But we understand.... https://t.co/L5fZJ1zifk— Ashwell Prince (@ashyp_5) August 11, 2017
Meanwhile, de Villiers is expected to meet the authorities from CSA sometime in August to take a call on his Test future.