Former South Africa cricketer AB de Villiers said recently that he might return to the international circuit and participate in the 2023 World Cup if MS Dhoni was still around. He also said that he was keen to play the upcoming World Cup in England before announcing his retirement.
“How old will I be (in 2023)? 39! I’ll come back if MS is still around (laughs). If I’m still good enough, who knows eh? 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 labeled as a guy who was picking and choosing when I was playing and when not,” De Villiers said during a candid interview with Gaurav Kapur on his Youtube show ‘Breakfast with Champions’.
“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,” added de Villiers.
Speaking on his retirement, the South African batsman said that there were numerous reasons which motivated him to take this decision. He also mentioned that his family played a big part in it.
“I’ve always been about the team. It’s never been about myself. But I found myself in a position where I had to make a decision where it’s going to look like I’m thinking about just myself. There’s a lot of reasons I had to move on. There’s a lot of things that played a role. Family is definitely a big part of it. The longevity of, like, I mean I’ve played for 15 years. I was just tired of the whole international scene. It’s quite busy, very stressful. The mental games, the doubts you have as a person, as a player all the time, it wears you down. And being captain of the Proteas for a long time also took its toll you know.”
“And then there are a few deeper issues that might have to be discussed when I’m 50 one day (laughs). There’s a part of me that’ll always miss it. I mean, I had so much fun. It’s everything that goes with it. I wish I could push on longer but like I said at the start I had a great run and more dreams came true than I could ever imagine. And there was lots of heartbreaks as well along the way. And that’s the great ride that we all go through,” said AB de Villiers.
He also praised his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Virat Kohli and said that the Indian skipper has impressed him with the quality to find happiness from small things happening around him. He also mentioned that Kohli is fond of distributing presents and has also ordered an espresso machine for him.
“When I realize, guys like him, who are so ‘big’ in India, but I see them enjoying the small things in life which is what it’s all about and it’s important. And they find time for other people, which is so difficult with their lives. I’m scared of saying anything to him now. Because if I say ‘Oh, I like your shoes’, the next minute he organizes me those shoes. I’m like ‘Virat, just stop it’. He looks after everyone. I told him I like coffee the other day. Now I’m getting an espresso machine he’s ordered on Amazon. It’s being delivered tomorrow!” said de Villiers.
The former South African skipper has featured in 114 Tests and 228 ODIs and has amassed 18,342 in both the formats of the game. After announcing his retirement from international cricket in May 2018 he continues to play in different T20 leagues around the world.