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Have been asked to lead South Africa again, reveals AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers says he has been asked to return to the South Africa team in a leadership role and that 'the desire is there' from his side to make a comeback.

By: Sports Desk | Published: April 29, 2020 2:49:55 pm
AB de Villiers has led South Africa in 103 ODIs and 18 T20Is. (Twitter/ICC)

AB de Villiers, who had surprised many by announcing his retirement from international cricket in 2018, has said that he has been requested by the South Africa team management to return as the team’s captain.

“The desire is there from my side to play for South Africa and have been asked by Cricket South Africa to lead the Proteas again,” the 36-year-old De Villiers, who played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20s, said during Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.

Speculations that South Africa were considering bringing back De Villiers into the side before this year’s T20 World Cup have been doing rounds in recent months, with Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher also having confirmed that talks are on with him.

“The most important thing to me is that I have got to be in top form and I have got to be better than the player next to me. I have not been part of the Proteas for a while and I feel that it’s important for myself and for other people to see that I am still good enough to be there,” De Villiers said.

READ | De Villiers wanted to come out of retirement before 2019 WC, offer rejected

Since his retirement from the international arena, De Villiers has continued playing in various franchise T20 leagues. He scored 146 runs in six matches for Brisbane Heat in the 2019/20 season of the Big Bash League. He had also been set to be a key member of the Royal Challengers Bangalore side in the IPL 2020 season before it was indefinitely postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

De Villiers has led South Africa in 103 ODIs and 18 T20Is, making him the third-highest South African captain in terms of matches in the limited-overs era, after Hansie Cronje and Graeme Smith.

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