Taking to his official Twitter handle, he announced the big decision that left cricket fans across the globe shocked.
An illustrious 14-year-long international career, decorated with 47 tons and over 20,000 runs, has come to an end as AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, he announced the big decision that left cricket fans across the globe shocked. He said, “After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired. This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I'd like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.”
He thanked his teammates for their support throughout his career as he said that he wouldn’t have been half the player that he is. He extended his gratitude to his coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa as well. The former South Africa captain added, “It's not about earning more somewhere else, it's about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.”
Widely regarded as a modern great of the game, de Villiers has an average of over 50 in both Tests and ODIs. In 114 Tests, he scored 8765 runs at an average of 50.66 which featured 22 tons. His highest Test score is 278*. If he was good in the longest format, he was even better in the shorter ones. An average of 53.50 in 228 ODIs is just a mere proof of that. With 25 centuries, de Villiers amassed 9577 runs. He also holds the record for the fastest ODI ton which came in just 31 balls against West Indies in the second ODI at Johannesburg in January 2015. Just a month later, West Indies again suffered his wrath as he hit the third fastest century in the history of World Cup in Sydney. That ton came off just 52 balls.
His record in the 78 T20Is he played was also no lesser. With a strike rate of 135.16, he scored 1672 runs that saw him hit 10 fifties. It was in the limited overs cricket where ABD absolutely revolutionized batting. He displayed how a ball can be hit to any part of the ground with his tremendous innovation, earning him the nickname Mr 360. Scoops over fine leg, reverse paddles, ramp shots and whatnot, de Villiers had it all. He had the audacity to hit genuine pacers for sixes off reverse shots.
His brand of batting is comparable to none and had everything to enthrall cricket fans around the world. Every time he walked out to bat, he commanded respect from the opposition and adulation from the spectators. And when it came to fielding, he would come up with almost impossible catches and run outs, and if needed, he would happily don the wicket-keeping gloves for his side as well.With him not being 35 yet, he could’ve carried on for some more years. Fitness was never an issue with him as he was the fittest guys around. But as they say it’s the player who knows the best when it’s time to go and de Villiers has made his decision, and he has left a void which will be very hard to fill. But the legend of de Villiers will surely be missed at the international arena. Take a bow, ABD for a splendid career!