AB de Villiers’ Proteas future clarified by August

AB de Villiers is being criticised for picking when he wants to play for the Proteas. Photo: Geoff Caddick/AFP.

AB de Villiers is being criticised for picking when he wants to play for the Proteas. Photo: Geoff Caddick/AFP.

The Proteas one-day skipper isn’t retiring from international cricket but his much criticised decision not to play Tests will be discussed.

AB de Villiers left South Africa’s tour of England saying he would decide his cricket future in August.

One of the outstanding batsmen of his generation, the 33-year-old headed home after captaining the Proteas in a 19-run defeat by England in Cardiff on Sunday that saw them beaten 2-1 in a three-match T20 series.

They previously lost a one-day international series to England by the same scoreline and then suffered a hugely disappointing first-round exit at the Champions Trophy.

Also read: Seniors let Proteas down as they slump to T20 series loss

But a Test series against England is the centrepiece of a four-month tour.

However, it has long been planned that de Villiers would miss the four-Test campaign to take a break from the strain of being one of the world’s leading players in all three international formats, as well as a man in demand at lucrative T20 franchise events around the world.

Bangladesh are due to tour South Africa in September and De Villiers said he expected to know by then what his international workload would entail.

“I am going to meet with CSA (Cricket South Africa) in August, and that will decide my international future,” he said after making a typically dashing 35 off 19 balls.

“We will see what works for both parties,” added the gifted shotmaker, who has scored more than 8,000 runs in 106 Tests, including 21 hundreds, at an average of over 50.

“We are not going to pick and choose games, but we are going to make a final decision about what happens for the next few years.”

Asked what he would do for the next couple of months, De Villiers said: “I am going to spend a bit of time off at home with the family, I’m going to welcome my new youngster into the world, and obviously look to stay fit.

“I want to make sure I am ready for September, when Bangladesh come.”

For all his success at Test level, De Villiers’ burning ambition is to help South Africa win a maiden World Cup title

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19 January 2019 TURFFONTEIN

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