Will AB de Villiers Call Time On Cricketing Career?
The leading batsman will meet with Cricket South Africa officials in August to decide his cricketing future.
AB de Villiers has been one of South Africa's, if not the world's, leading players in all three formats of the game for sometime now. His T20 performances have led the 33-year-old to be in high demand from lucrative foreign leagues. However, after captaining the Proteas in a 19-run loss to England in Cardiff on Sunday in the final T20 tie of the three-match series, which they lost 1-2, De Villiers headed home for a much-deserved break.
South Africa's recent performances haven't been up to mark. They lost to England in a One-Day international series by the same scoreline and exited the ICC Champions Trophy in the first round. However, the upcoming four-match Test series England that starts July 6 is important but it had been decided earlier that De Villiers would be taking a break. With Bangladesh set to tour South Africa in September, De Villiers will meet with Cricket South Africa officials in August to decide his international cricketing workload.
"I am going to meet with CSA (Cricket South Africa) in August, and that will decide my (international) future," De Villiers told reporters after making a typically dashing 35 off 19 balls. "We will see what works for both parties. 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."
The gifted shot-maker has scored more than 8,000 runs in 106 Tests, including 21 hundreds, at an average of over 50.
Regarding his schedule 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."
Despite his Test successes, De Villiers wants to help South Africa win a maiden World Cup title. The next World Cup takes place in England in two years' time and de Villiers, in charge for a heartbreaking 2015 semi-final loss to co-hosts New Zealand in Auckland, said: "It's my main dream to win a World Cup for South Africa, or to be part of it in one way or another"
But de Villiers, whose stunning 31-ball century against the West Indies at Johannesburg in 2015 remains the fastest ODI hundred, added: "I don't even think it's in my hands, what is going to happen. I will wait until the final decision on the coach and things like that are made," he explained, with Russell Domingo's future already uncertain before he left the tour prior to the Proteas' three-run win in the second Twenty20 at Taunton on Friday after his mother was involved in a traffic accident. "Then I can also have a chat to CSA, to see where I am going to fit in."
South Africa could be without Faf du Plesiss for the first Test at Lord's. Du Plessis, the Proteas' Test skipper, is awaiting the birth of his first child, who is expected in the first week of July.
(With AFP inputs)