AB de Villiers all set to return in a brand new sport, will team up with former tennis world no 1 Ash Barty
Star South Africa cricketer AB de Villiers, who announced complete retirement from the sport last year, will soon return to action but this time with a golf stick. The 38-year-old will be representing Rest of the World team against Team USA led by Fred Couples in the inaugural Icons Series golf event in Jersey City from June 30 to July 1.
He will be joined by former world no 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner Ash Barty. Meanwhile, swimming legend Michael Phelps and boxing great Oscar de la Hoya are among the other stars who will be seen playing for Team USA in the event.
Both the athletes, who at one point have been at the top of their respective disciplines, share contrasting careers. The ex-Proteas play went to play for well over a decade, before calling it quit from internationals in 2018 and entirely from the sport last year.
Barty, on the other hand, did it when she was ranked one and was just a-month old after winning the Australian Open 2022.
Sharing his thoughts on her retirement, which came at the least expected moment, De Villiers called it as "a weird one to explain".
"I think the best answer is that every person has their own way of manoeuvring through their career, some as long as possible.
"The whole world respects her decision. I would like to think stepping away can be a relief but it is an incredible age to retire at," the ex-cricketer told AFP in an interview.
When asked about his views on his decision to hang his boots from cricket, the 38-year-old said he feels relieved and no regrets.
"I feel relief sitting here," he said.
"I am feeling quite happy I made the right decision even if I miss the game and will be forever grateful to the sport.
"But similar to Ash there is a peace of mind where I am at.
"I am really happy to look back on my career with fond memories.
"There are no regrets. Yes, I made mistakes but no regrets."