Mr. 360 AB de Villiers has stepped down from South Africa’s ODI captaincy. However, he will be available for selection for all three formats. There were speculations about AB retiring from the longest format of the game but he has come out and cleared the air about his future.
“A lot has been said and written over the past 12 months, and I feel it is time to make my position absolutely clear. Over the past year or so, I have tried to manage my commitments. I felt mentally and physically tired, my wife and I are bringing up two fantastic kids, and playing in all three formats ever since 2004 and has taken its toll,” AB de Villiers said.
Playing for South Africa a privilege
“Together with cricket South Africa, we have tried to develop a viable schedule, which allows me to prolong my career for as long as possible. This strategy has prompted some people to say that I am picking and choosing when to play for the Proteas and even to suggest that I am somehow putting myself before the team. This is something not true, that has never been true. Playing for South Africa is and will always be the greatest privilege of my life,” he added.
Faf du Plessis has been leading the Test and T20I sides for South Africa and de Villiers believes it’s time for him to take over the ODI captaincy as well.
“Now to move forward, Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the T20I and Test team, and bearing this in mind, I have informed Cricket South Africa that I would love to step down as the captain of the ODI team. It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for someone else to take the ODI side forward. Whoever is chosen as the new ODI captain will have my complete support.” the 33-year-old said.
“Following this recent break, I really do feel refreshed and revived. I want to get back on the field and I have today assured the national selectors that I will be available for selection in all three formats of the game during the coming season. There is plenty of hard work ahead in the nets and I must prepare properly, but I will be ready to play, if required, from the middle of October onwards,” he added.
“Lastly, if I am lucky enough to be selected, I can’t guarantee runs and catches. Nobody can do that. But what I can absolutely guarantee is 100% commitment to the Proteas in every format of the game, as and when required. That was my promise when I made my debut in 2004, and that is my promise today.” the right-hander said.
The move to step down has come just at the right time. The 2019 ODI World Cup is less than 2 years from now and if a new captain is to lead the side, he must have a fair amount of experience leading in the format going into the prestigious tournament. If the move helps AB de Villiers prolong his career, the fans won’t mind him not being a captain either.