There are a lot of distractions that any player must navigate in their career, reckons AB de Villiers

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There are a lot of distractions that any player must navigate in their career, reckons AB de Villiers

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SportsCafe Desk

06/13/2018

AB de Villiers, who is currently enjoying his life off the pitch after announcing his retirement, suggested that young players need to make tough choices to succeed as there are always a lot of distractions in their way. De Villiers stated that his mantra in life has been to stay true to himself.

AB de Villiers, who shocked the cricket world with his retirement announcement just after his IPL stint, had some wise words for the youngsters in the game of cricket. He insisted that a player’s path to success always has lots of distraction and in order to achieve success, a player must know how to avoid them. 

"There are a lot of distractions that any player must navigate in their career. It can feel like everyone wants a piece of you when you get closer to the top," de Villiers said in an interview with Cricket Next.

"When you enter the public stage, there is a lot of pressure on your shoulders to perform at the highest level every time. Any young player looking to succeed needs to make tough choices, work hard and always stay focussed. Starting a family and recovering from injury, I managed to find a balance," he added.

His mantra in life has been: "To follow your dreams, to be honest and to work hard at whatever you do. Whether you're on the cricket pitch or at home: being true to yourself is the best." 

The former South Africa skipper suddenly had announced his retirement on May 23 from all forms of international cricket. The 34-year-old batsman had said 'the time is right' for him to hang up his boots, bringing to close an illustrious 14-year career, which saw him finish with a staggering 20,014 international runs (8,765 in Tests, 9,577 in ODIs and 1,672 in T20Is).

He also played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore led by Indian skipper Virat Kohli at the recently concluded Indian Premier League and his exploits on the cricket field earned him a reputation of being one of the greatest cricketers of all time. 

"It's flattering when people call you a game changer, but on any given day, any given player can change the course of a match either with the bat or ball. My career reached a crossroads in 2008, when I realised specifically that I needed to work on my defence to support my attacking game and, more generally, when I started to benefit from the support and guidance of a new management team," he said.

He also has some suggestions for those who wants to make big on the cricket pitch.

"There are two elements to bear in mind when you take guard - the first is the position of the fielders, so you can try to hit the ball into gaps, and the second is the place where you think the bowler is going to deliver the ball," he said. 

"Cricket in its most basic form is a battle between bowler and batsman, and it is always important to try and work out what the bowler will do next, to try and cut down his options by being creative at the crease and ultimately trying to dominate this struggle," added de Villiers.

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