AB de Villiers refused to play for South Africa at this year’s T20 World Cup because he did not want to overtake players who are already part of the system, said national coach Mark Boucher.
“AB has his reasons, which I respect. Unfortunately, he is no longer in the mix. I say sorry because I think we all agree that he is still one of the best – if not the best – players of T20 in world cricket “, Boucher was quoted by The Citizen, a South African media.
“But he hinted that he was worried about entering before other players who were part of the system. I don’t think he did well, which I understand.
Boucher said he wants to gather his best players for the World Cup, which will be held in October-November in India. But he added that South Africa would have to respect de Villier’s decision and move forward.
“As a coach, I had to try to find our best players for the team and the environment. AB is an energy booster in any environment, but I respect his reasoning. It was worth going, but now let’s move on.”
Cricket South Africa issued a statement Tuesday confirming that de Villier’s decision to withdraw is final and he will not make a return.
“Discussions with AB de Villiers ended with the batsman deciding once and for all that his retirement would remain final,” a CSA statement said on social media.
The right-wing batsman had announced his retirement from international cricket in 2018.