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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

AB de Villiers may quit Test cricket in August: Reports

AB de Villiers, who has not played any Tests since January 2016, is considering quitting Test cricket when he meets Cricket South Africa representatives in August, according to some reports.

cricket Updated: Jun 27, 2017 20:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
AB de Villiers has not played Test cricket since January 2016 as he looks to keep himself fresh and fit to lead South Africa for the 2019 World Cup in England.
AB de Villiers has not played Test cricket since January 2016 as he looks to keep himself fresh and fit to lead South Africa for the 2019 World Cup in England.(REUTERS)

AB de Villiers, who is expected to make a decision on his playing future in August, is expected to retire from Test cricket when he meets Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials, unless the cricket board can convince him to stay on again.

Following their Twenty20 series loss to England, de Villiers returned home and is considering his options as he looks to lead South Africa to glory in the 2019 World Cup, which will also be held in England.

According to some reports, de Villiers had informed CSA about his decision of quitting the longest format last year, but was given time out of Tests in a bid to get him to reconsider. However, according to ESPNcricinfo, de Villiers is understood to contemplating Test retirement when he meets CSA officials following the appointment of a new coach in August

Before leaving the United Kingdom, the right-hander said he and the CSA would “make a final decision about what happens for the next few years” when they meet in a few weeks’ time. He also indicated that the appointment of the new coach would be key to his future.

Current coach Russell Domingo’s contract will end after the England tour and as per sources, he has not reapplied for the post despite the support of the players, including de Villiers.

De Villiers had taken a break from Test cricket after being ruled out of the tour of Australia last year with an injury. He, however, planned to return to the format in September, when Bangladesh will tour South Africa.

In a column for The Independent, former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith confirmed this information when he wrote: “It’s my belief that AB was looking to walk away from the Test game last year at some point, but has been encouraged to carry on by CSA. His personal prerogative is ensuring he does all he can to add as much longevity to his international career as possible, as well as taking in to account the harsh realities of touring such as the amount of travel involved, and the toll that takes on your body,” he added.

Smith reckoned that de Villiers was targeting the 2019 World Cup as a swansong to his already illustrious career at the top level.

“What has AB de Villiers got to prove to anyone? He’s a star, and those players are often expected to be available all of the time no matter what the consequences might be personally,” Smith wrote.

The former left-handed batsman’s advice to the 33-year-old is to “step away from the captaincy”, and concentrate on maintaining his energy levels for the World Cup. De Villiers has already reiterated his ambition to win the 2019 World Cup in England. However, adding the same is dependent on how the discussion with CSA went.

“It’s my main dream to win a World Cup for South Africa, or to be part of it in one way or another. I don’t even think it’s in my hands, what is going to happen. I will wait until the final decision on the coach and things like that are made. Then, I can also have a chat with CSA to see where I am going to fit in,” he said.

De Villiers has notched up more than 8,000 runs in 106 Tests, including 21 hundreds. His last Test was against England in Centurion during the series in 2015/16. He has also amassed 9,319 runs from 222 ODIs and 1,603 runs from 76 T20Is.

First Published: Jun 27, 2017 16:17 IST

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