Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect on Wednesday, stating that he has 'run out of gas'. The 34-year-old, who played in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is for South Africa, took time away from the longest form of cricket in 2017. "I've had my turn and, to be honest, I'm tired," De Villiers said in a video message posted on his Twitter handle on Thursday. "This is a tough decision. I've thought long and hard about it and I'd like to retire still playing decent cricket. "It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing."
I've made a big decision today pic.twitter.com/In0jyquPOK— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) May 23, 2018
De Villiers has a batting average of over 50 in both Test and ODI cricket. He scored 8,765 Test runs for South Africa and made his 22nd century in the format against Australia in March. His final appearance in national colours came in Johannesburg, where South Africa beat Australia by 492 runs and clinched the four-match series 3-1.
"AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern-day batting in all three formats but particularly in the white ball ones to new levels. What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his teammates whether playing at the international or domestic level and the wonderful role model he has been to all our aspiring youngsters. It goes without saying that he is going to be greatly missed wherever international cricket is played. We thank him for the contribution he has made to South African cricket and specifically to make the Standard Bank Proteas world leaders and we wish him and his family everything of the best in his future endeavours," said Cricket South Africa President, Chris Nenzani.
Here is how the cricketing world has reacted to the sudden announcement:
One of the best! Wish you all the best AB?? amazing player but above all that great guy... ?? https://t.co/njEZLnuPit— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) May 23, 2018
The biggest entertainer in the last decade has bid goodbye to International cricket...your absence will be felt, AB. Cricket will be poorer. Wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Go well @ABdeVilliers17 ????— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) May 23, 2018
Everyone knows when their time has arrived,abbas is no different. Congrats on a wonderful career @ABdeVilliers17 ??— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) May 23, 2018
#ABdeVilliers played cricket exactly as it should be played. As fun. As an adventure. As joy.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 23, 2018
Such a shame for international cricket @ABdeVilliers17 ... But he has been an unbelievable advert to how I would have loved to have played all 3 formats .. GREAT GREAT Player ... Top 3 that I have ever seen .. #AB— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 23, 2018
Congratulations @ABdeVilliers17 , the most loved cricketer in the world, on a wonderful career. International cricket will be poorer without you, but you will continue to be celebrated by cricket fans around the world pic.twitter.com/uA7CBlYE9F— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) May 23, 2018
De Villiers' Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore was knocked out of the tournament following a defeat to Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. RCB needed to beat Rajasthan to stay in contention for the play-offs, but stunningly lost seven wickets for 30 runs to lose by 30 runs.