“To be honest, I am tired,” this is what South Africa’s master batsman AB de Villiers had to say while announcing his retirement from all formats in international cricket.
Describing himself as having “run out of gas”, the star batsman, also known as Mr 360 for his ability to play wide range of shots all around the wicket, made the announcement on his Twitter handle on Wednesday. He said: “I want to let you know that I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn and to be honest, I am tired.”
After a glittering career spanning 14 years, the right handed batsman, who debuted for the proteas in December 2004, went on to score 8765 runs with 22 tons to his credit in Test matches. He is the fourth highest run getter for South Africa in the format.
In limited format, the middle order batsman holds multiple batting records including the world’s fastest One Day International (ODI) 50, 100 and 150, all coming at an impressive strike rate of over 100. The maverick batsman has accumulated 9577 runs at an average of 53.50 with 25 centuries and 53 half-centuries under his belt.
The decision to call time came in as a surprise to many in the cricketing fraternity. Former cricketer Allan Donald tweeted: “So shocked to (hear) AB de Villiers has decided to call time on his international career. But that’s just life and he feels it’s time to move on. Thank you great man for your amazing Match winning Performances, Skill Captaincy and most of all your Humility.”
However, De Villiers added that he will continue to play in the league games. He made the announcement following Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) poor show in the current season as it failed to qualify for the play-offs.
“It is not about earning more somewhere else, it is about running out of gas and feeling it is time to move on. Everything comes to an end and to cricket fans in South Africa and around the world, thank you very much for your kindness, generosity and your understanding. I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas,” he said.
De Villiers said that it was a “tough” decision for him and he wanted to quit the game while playing “decent cricket”. “This is a tough decision, I thought long and hard about it and I would like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series against India and Australia, now feels the right time to step aside. It would not be right for me to pick and choose where and when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing.”