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“Will come back if Dhoni is around,” says AB de Villiers on playing World Cup 2023

AB de Villiers said he would come back to play in ODI World Cup 2023 only if MS Dhoni decides to play in the tournament.

cricket Updated: May 19, 2019 09:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
AB de Villiers,MS Dhoni,de Villiers Dhoni
AB de Villiers of South Africa and MS Dhoni of India speak as they wait during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and India at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 22, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.(IDI via Getty Images)

There may not be any chances of seeing AB de Villiers play in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 in England but there is a possibility of him turning up for South Africa in the following World Cup in 2023, provided former India captain MS Dhoni too plays in that world event to be hosted by India.

De Villiers, who had announced his retirement from international cricket last year, was asked by Gaurav Kapoor on his YouTube show about the chances of him playing in the next World Cup. The former South Africa skipper came up with an interesting reply, “How old will I be (in 2023)? 39! I’ll come back if MS (Dhoni) is still around (laughs). If I’m still good enough, who knows eh?” said de Villiers.

While there is no question on AB’s fitness but imagining him coming out of retirement just to play the World Cup four years later when he could have easily done the same in the upcoming edition in England, is farfetched.

Perhaps, that’s why de Villiers mentioned the Dhoni condition. There are very little chances of Dhoni – now 37 – playing the next ODI World Cup, despite it being played in India.

De Villiers also went on to reveal the reason behind announcing his retirement a year before the World Cup. He said criticism for picking and choosing international matches was one of the main reasons behind his decision.

“I was keen to play the World Cup (2019) but I retired, so it was a very sensitive situation. For the last 3 years of my career, I was labelled as a guy who was picking and choosing when I was playing and when not.

“So I got quite a lot of criticism from back home which also played a role in me retiring. And it was difficult for me to then go: ‘Hey, but I’ll still play the World Cup’. You know, it’s the picking and choosing thing again. And it’s quite arrogant to do something like that. But as they say, you can’t have your bread buttered on both sides,” said AB.

De Villiers, however, still continues to play T20 cricket in various leagues across the globe. He was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore side in the recently concluded IPL 2019.

First Published: May 18, 2019 17:22 IST