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AB de Villiers chose to play T20 leagues over representing South Africa in 2018: Convener of selectors Zondi

The news comes at a time when South Africa have made a terrible start to their World Cup campaign with three successive defeats and has arrived a day after their listless performance against India at Southampton.

cricket Updated: Jun 06, 2019 16:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CARDIFF, WALES - JUNE 25: South Africa captain AB de Villiers reacts during the 3rd NatWest T20 International between England and South Africa at SWALEC Stadium on June 25, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - JUNE 25: South Africa captain AB de Villiers reacts during the 3rd NatWest T20 International between England and South Africa at SWALEC Stadium on June 25, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)(Getty Images)
         

Cricket South Africa’s convener of selectors Linda Zondi on Thursday gave out details of the board’s interactions with former South Africa captain AB de Villiers in the lead up to the ICC World Cup. Zondi’s response comes after reports surfaced that de Villiers had approached Proteas captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Ottis Gibson and Zondi, and put forward his desire to be a part of the squad for the showpiece event, but his request was turned down.

The news comes at a time when South Africa have made a terrible start to their World Cup campaign with three successive defeats and has arrived a day after their listless performance against India at Southampton.

ALSO READ: AB de Villiers wanted to come out of retirement for World Cup, offer rejected by South Africa management - Report

“I pleaded with AB de Villiers not to retire in 2018. Although there was a perception that he was picking and choosing when to play – which was not true – I did give him the option to plan and monitor his season to get him to the World Cup fresh and in a good space.

“We made it clear that he would have to play during the home tours against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to be considered for selection, instead he signed to play in the Pakistan and Bangladesh Premier Leagues respectively,” Zondi said while addressing the media as reported by Foxsports.com.au

ICC WORLD CUP 2019 - FULL COVERAGE

“He turned down the offer and said he was at peace with his decision to retire.”

The report further stated that du Plessis and Gibson were keen for the star batsman to be included.

“For (captain) Faf du Plessis and (head coach) Ottis Gibson to share AB’s desire to be included in the squad on the day we announced our World Cup squad on April 18th was a shock to all of us,” Zondi said.

“AB left a big vacuum when he retired, we had a year to find players at franchise level to fill the gap.

“We had players who put in the hard work, who put up their hands and deserved to be given the opportunity to go to the World Cup.

“The decision was based on principle; we had to be fair to the team, the selection panel, our franchise system and players.”

First Published: Jun 06, 2019 16:37 IST

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