'I am as young as ever': At 37, AB de Villiers still 'excited' for another stint with RCB in IPL 2021
There is no stopping AB de Villiers, it seems. When the former South Africa captain announced international retirement three years ago, many wondered why is he hanging his boots so early on in his career. To put these questions in context, De Villiers was 34 at the time, and had already served his country for over 14 years.
But seeing him still going at his best in domestic T20 leagues across the world at the time, many believed that de Villiers still had plenty left in the tank.
The explosive batsman, who earned himself the nickname 'Mr 360 degree', was rumoured to come out of retirement to play for South Africa in the T20 World Cup last year. But the covid-19 pandemic postponed the tournament to 2021.
De Villiers returned to play in the Indian Premier League in 2020, and was a crucial factor in leading Royal Challenges Bangalore through to the playoffs. And now, the former Proteas star is ready to showcase his talent on the big stage once again in IPL 2021.
At 37, De Villiers feels he is still young as he always was.
"I had a nice few training sessions, a lot of fitness, a lot of gym work. I feel ready and I am as young as ever so looking forward to it,” de Villiers said during an appearance on RCB's Bold Diaries after he came out to practice on April 7.
“We have spent a lot of time in the room in the last week and before that, we were travelling. It was quite intense coming out. I hit the floor running and gave it my absolute best. Had a lot of fun out here tonight and I was hitting the ball okay. Not a 100% so I will come back tomorrow for a bit more,” de Villiers added.
“It is very enjoyable to just be here. I am very excited to play another IPL with the RCB boys and just going to have a lot of fun this year,” he further said.
“Yeah, I have quite a few sessions for the last six weeks. Quite a few outdoors and indoors. I mixed it up nicely. When I wanted to work on shots I would go indoors and if I wanted to have a feel for the outdoors with the nibbling around a bit I would spend an hour or so in the outdoors,” AB de Villiers signed off.
RCB will open their campaign against the title-defenders Mumbai Indians on April 8th.