In what would be a short but sensational U-turn, AB de Villiers has confirmed that he “would love to” come out of international retirement to play for the Proteas in this year’s World T20 in Australia.
His sentiments back up current national skipper Faf du Plessis’ startling comment last month that there had been talks for “two to three months already” on his possible return.
De Villiers, who quit internationals in May 2018, showed his worth on Tuesday as he guided the Brisbane Heat to victory on his Big Bash T20 debut, scoring 40 off 32 deliveries.
“I would love to. I’ve been talking to Mark Boucher, Graeme Smith and Faf back home, we’re all keen to make it happen.
“It’s a long way away still, and plenty can happen – there’s the IPL coming up, I’ve still got to be in form at that time,” De Villiers was quoted as saying afterwards by cricket.com.au.
“There’s a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality. But I’m thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out. It’s not a guarantee, once again. I don’t want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I’m just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year.”
The substantial pedigree of the Proteas’ coaching staff, which also features legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis as batting consultant, clearly also appeals to De Villiers.
“There are a lot of players (involved with CSA) who I used to play with. Guys who understand the game, leaders of the team for many years.
“So it’s much easier to communicate than what it used to be in the past. They understand what players go through – especially players that have played for 15 years internationally. It doesn’t mean that everything is going to be sunshine and roses, but it’s definitely a lot easier and it feels comfortable.
“We’ve been through a lot and it’s great to have them involved again, and as I said, hopefully I’ll be involved again as well pretty soon,” he said.