ICC T20 World Cup: ‘I would love to’ - AB de Villiers eyes return to international cricket
Former South Africa batsman AB de Villiers on Tuesday said he would love to make an international comeback with the Proteas at this year’s ICC T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia. De Villiers scored 40 on his Big Bash League (BBL) debut as his team Brisbane Heat defeated Adelaide Strikers by seven wickets on Tuesday. “There’s a lot that needs to happen before that becomes a reality,” the 35-year-old was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“I would love to. I’ve been talking to ‘Bouch’ (new South Africa coach Mark Boucher), (new director of cricket) Graeme Smith and (captain) Faf (du Plessis) back home, we’re all keen to make it happen. “It’s a long way away still, and plenty can happen - there’s the IPL coming up, I’ve still got to be in form at that time,” he added.
de Villiers hung up his Proteas shirt in May 2018. “So I’m thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out. “It’s not a guarantee, once again. I don’t want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I’m just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year.”
“There are a lot of players (involved with CSA) who I used to play with,” he continued. “Guys who understand the game, leaders of the team for many years.
“So it’s much easier to communicate than what it used to be in the past. They understand what players go through - especially players that have played for 15 years internationally. “It doesn’t mean that everything is going to be sunshine and roses, but it’s definitely a lot easier and it feels comfortable, the language that’s being used and just the feel that everyone has at the moment in South Africa about the cricket.”
The former South Africa captain also hailed the overhaul in the CSA with head coach Mark Boucher, director Graeme Smith as well as new batting consultant Jacques Kallis coming on board.
“Absolutely, they’re my friends and I played 10-plus years with them internationally,” said the 114-Tests veteran.
“We’ve been through a lot and it’s great to have them involved again, and as I said, hopefully I’ll be involved again as well pretty soon.”
de Villiers’ desire to make a comeback comes on the heels of Boucher saying he is open to asking retired de Villiers to play in the T20 World Cup.
Skipper Faf du Plessis has said the conversation regarding the matter has been on for the last several months. du Plessis said everyone wants the destructive batsman to make a comeback and he too feels the same way.
“People want AB (de Villiers) to play and I am no different,” du Plessis said after his Paarl Rocks team - coached by Boucher with de Villiers also in the team - won the Mzansi Super League (MSL) T20 final on Monday night. “Those conversations have been happening for two or three months already: what does it look like, how does it look over the next year, and that’s where it starts,’ he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
de Villiers had tried to come out of it ahead of the 2019 World Cup, making himself available for selection. However, CSA selectors felt it was too late.
He was the third-highest scorer at the recently concluded MSL, amassing 325 runs from nine matches at an average of 46.42 with four half-centuries.
In 78 T20Is, de Villers has so far scored 1672 runs, averaging 26.12 with a strike rate of 135.16. He had last featured in a T20I contest against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom on October 29, 2017.