AB de Villiers' shock U-turn on Virat Kohli's 2nd-child reveal: 'Made a mistake' | Crickit

AB de Villiers apologises, makes shocking U-turn on Virat Kohli's second child revelation: 'I made a big mistake'

Feb 09, 2024 01:03 PM IST

AB de Villiers has retracted from his earlier statement that Virat Kohli's absence is because he is expecting his second child.

On Sunday, AB de Villiers ended the suspense surrounding Virat Kohli's absence when he revealed on his YouTube channel that the India star is with his family because he and wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their second child. However, five days after making the revelation, de Villiers has made a striking U-turn on his statement, admitting that his information was incorrect and acknowledging that he 'made a big mistake.'

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli during the 2023 World Cup. (Getty)
AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli during the 2023 World Cup. (Getty)

"Family comes first and then Cricket. I made a terrible mistake on my YouTube channel. That information was wrong and not true at all. Virat has every right to take a break from national duties due to family reasons. I think whatever's best for Virat's family, comes first. No one knows what's happening there, all I can do is wish him well. Whatever the reason for his break, I hope he can come back stronger, better and fresh from this," de Villiers told Dainik Bhaskar.

De Villiers made the correction on the sidelines of the SA20, where he was part of various media interactions. But the fact that the former South Africa captain made an erroneous comment of such magnitude is pretty unexpected to say the least. Kohli and de Villiers are extremely close; Virat was one of the first people ABD informed about his retirement - he sent VK a voice note - and hence, it wasn't surprising to know that he would have confided in de Villiers in terms of something as personal as becoming a father again. However, that the information is now deemed false by De Villiers adds a whole new layer of mystery around Kohli's continued absence.

Also Read: Delay in BCCI announcing India Test squad not because of Virat Kohli but due to Bumrah, Rahul, Jadeja

Kohli's decision has left the cricketing world divided. While some fans have been apprehensive about his decision to prioritise family over playing for India, he has received nothing but backing from his peers. Former England captain Nasser Hussain echoed De Villiers' point of view that if Kohli wants to spend time with his family, then be it. For all that Virat has done for the world of cricket, Hussain insisted that it's time the game looks after Kohli, even if it comes at the cost of Virat missing a high profile series such as India vs England>

What AB de Villiers had said…

"All I know is he is fine. He is spending a bit of time with his family, that is the reason he is missing the first two Test matches. I am not going to confirm anything else. I cannot wait to see him back. He is fine, he is doing well," de Villiers, Kohli's teammate at Royal Challengers Bangalore, has said.

"Yes, his second child is on the way. Yes, it's family time and things are important to him. If you are not true and genuine to yourself, you lose track of what you are here for. I think most people's priority is family. You can't judge Virat for that."

Kohli had landed in Hyderabad two days before the start of the first Test, but flew back the same day citing personal reasons and announced his withdrawal from the first two Tests. He was expected to be back for the third Test but news emerged on Wednesday that Kohli is likely to remain unavailable for the Rajkot Test and possibly for the entire series, even though there has been no official confirmation on the same. The BCCI too is yet to reveal the squad for the next two or three Tests so until and unless something concrete comes to the fore, the Kohli-missing saga lingers on.

Having said that, Kohli's absence has nothing to do with the BCCI's delay in announcing the next India Test squad. They were expected to make it official two days ago but have refrained from doing so. Multiple reports state that the selection meeting took place on Thursday, which makes it all the more likely that Friday – February 9 – could be the day when the curtain is lifted.

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