By Shreya Maskara
Former South Africa Test team captain and batting strongman AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on Wednesday, bringing to an end a stellar career. In a video posted on Twitter announcing his retirement, de Villiers said he had “run out of gas.”
Here’s what happened
In the video message, de Villiers said he was making the “tough decision” after thinking about it “long and hard.”
“I’ve had my turn and, to be honest, I’m tired,” he said. “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.”
There was an outpour of heartfelt messages from the cricket community, who took turns in remembering de Villiers’ long and illustrious career.
K.L. Rahul took to Twitter to express the great advice de Villiers gave to him as a young cricketer. “Cricket is a very simple game KL. The more you keep it that way the more the game will give you back.”
“Cricket is a very simple game KL. The more u keep it that way the more the game will give you back.”
This Is the advice this great man gave me when I was 21. You will always be my Favourite Cricketer @ABdeVilliers17 🙏🏽😊 #ThankYouABD pic.twitter.com/ceGpu5uw8j
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) May 23, 2018
Other fans of de Villiers, including Sachin Tendulkar and Harsha Bhogle, also took to Twitter to express how much he will be missed.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 23, 2018
Former Australian national team captain Adam Gilchrist remarked, “I remember this young guy on his 1st day out for Proteas. What an inspiration, person and player he turned out to be.” Gilchrist added in his tweet, “Thank you for everything you have done and been for your country, teammates and fans.”
De Villiers finishes his 14-year career with 20,014 international runs (8765 in Tests, 9577 in ODIs and 1672 in T20Is) and a batting average of over 50 in both Tests and ODIs.
Amongst his other achievements, de Villiers also holds the records for scoring the fastest half-century (in 16 balls), fastest century (in 31 balls) and fastest 150 runs (in 64 balls) in ODIs.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) released a statement after de Villiers announced his retirement. CSA president Chris Nenzani said, “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 team mates whether playing at international or domestic level and the wonderful role model he has been to all our aspiring youngsters,” Nenzani added.
De Villiers last played for South Africa in Johannesburg, and helped the Proteas beat Australia by 492 runs and win the series 3-1.
“Everything comes to an end,” de Villiers added in his message, “to the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.”
Shreya Maskara is a senior copy editor at Qrius.
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