AB De Villiers said that he is “pretty desperate” to win the ICC Champions Trophy. “I haven’t won one of these trophies in my career, so I’m pretty desperate to win one, and we’ll do anything we can to get out on top.”
“We know these tournaments are very competitive – there are eight teams that want to win it and can win it. But we do think we’ve got a very good squad here. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.
De Villiers was speaking ahead of South Africa’s three match ODI series against England set to begin next week. South Africa will play a day-night warm-up match against Sussex Sharks at the 1st Central County Ground on Saturday. “It’s a very nice way for us to warm up and get ready for a big one-day tournament,” de Villiers said about their short tour of England.
“But first things first, we want to win the series against England, a team that’s been playing very good one-day cricket in their own country. They’ve done really well to come back from the 2015 World Cup. They’re obviously a very talented bunch, and they’ve earned a lot of respect.
“They will be one of the favourites for the Champions Trophy definitely, but quite a few teams stand out – India won the last Champions Trophy, and the Aussies are always a team to look out for.”
Injuries had plagued De Villiers over the past two years because of which he had stepped down from Test captaincy and also taken a break from the longest format of the game to focus on the upcoming ODI and T20I tournaments. He was recently part of a horrendous campaign for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
“I started the IPL very well and felt in good touch throughout the tournament, but we never got going as a team as a whole,” he added, “It was a poor IPL for us, but that’s long gone now. I’m very excited to be back with the South Africa team. I had a good net session this morning – I faced Imran Tahir, and he’s certainly stepped up his game a bit.
De Villiers said that he was now feeling fully fit. “I’m feeling fresh, feeling 100%, and looking forward to playing this series and then the tournament.”