The Proteas were dealt a huge shock on Wednesday after AB de Villiers announced his abrupt retirement from international cricket.
But the local cricketing fraternity can rest a bit easier over the reasons for his decision.
He’s not going overseas to make more money and he’s not concerned by the ongoing inability of Cricket South Africa (CSA) to reach a new Memorandum of Understanding with the South African Cricketers Association (Saca), which effectively keeps the professional game going.
In fact, AB de Villiers is just “tired”.
I’ve made a big decision today pic.twitter.com/In0jyquPOK
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) May 23, 2018
“I’m tired,” he said in a video on Twitter.
“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.”
De Villiers was one of various stalwarts who were awarded a national contract by CSA at the end of the international season, seemingly indicating that he was ready for one last shot at World Cup glory.
That clearly isn’t the case.
The 34-year-old legend was probably going to have to manage his workload in the build-up to the showpiece in England next year.
In 2017 he faced a storm of criticism for temporarily stepping away from Test cricket to keep himself refreshed before making himself available in all formats again.
He doesn’t want to do that again.
2nd highest individual score for South Africa in Tests:
278 not out against Pakistan (2010)
Fastest 50 in ODIs:
16 balls against West Indies at the Wanderers (2015)
Fastest 100 in ODIs:
31 balls against West Indies at the Wanderers (2015)
Fastest 150 in ODIs:
64 balls against West Indies in Sydney (2015 World Cup)
“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas,” said De Villiers.
“For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years. The most important thank you goes out to all of my team mates throughout my career, I wouldn’t be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years.”
De Villiers still wants to add value to the South African cricket and has plans to still play franchise cricket.
“I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”
He ends with incredible stats – a Test average of 50.66 and as the fourth-highest run-scorer for South Africa with 8765 runs.
His exploits in the limited-overs formats have been extraordinary, and he finishes as the No.2 ranked player in the world and as the second highest run-scorer behind Jacques Kallis with 9577 runs at an average of 53.50.