ICC World Cup 2019 | I did not demand to be included in tournament squad, says AB de Villiers

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ICC World Cup 2019 | I did not demand to be included in tournament squad, says AB de Villiers

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SportsCafe Desk

07/12/2019

AB de Villiers has cleared the air regarding his inclusion in the World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament. Recently the news of de Villiers making himself available for the selection prior to the South African squad announcement made rounds in the fraternity.

De Villiers called it a day from international cricket in May last year and with it, South Africa’s World Cup fortunes took a massive hit. South Africa had a terrible time in the tournament as they failed to qualify for the semi-finals. However, recent news of him making himself available for the selection raised many eyebrows. On Friday, De Villiers shed light on the whole story. 

"Now the Proteas' World Cup campaign is over, and the team cannot be distracted, I would like to respond to unjustified criticism of me during the tournament. I continue to be asked to comment on the disclosure, and distortion, of a private conversation that took place just before the squad was announced and, for the benefit of anyone who may have felt let down, would like to explain what happened,” reads the statement, reported ESPNCricinfo. 

"First, I announced my retirement from international cricket in May 2018 because I wanted to reduce my workload and spend more time with my wife and young sons. Some have insisted I was motivated purely by money. They are wrong. In truth, I have turned down many lucrative offers to play around the world, and have cut the time spent away from home each year from eight months to just over three months.

"Second, on the day of my announcement, I was privately asked whether 'the door was still open' for me to play in the World Cup. I was asked. I did not offer. I quickly replied 'Yes'. With hindsight, maybe I should have just said no, but my natural instinct has always been to find a way to oblige whenever possible.

"During the weeks and months that followed, there was no formal contact between Cricket South Africa or the Proteas and me. I didn’t call them, and they didn’t call me. I had made my decision and the Proteas moved on, enjoying success under the expert guidance of coach Ottis Gibson and the outstanding captaincy of Faf du Plessis. Faf and I have been friends since we were at school together and, two days before the World Cup squad was announced, I contacted him for a chat,” de Villiers added. 

De Villiers looked in good touch in the Indian Premier League and would have certainly done well in the World Cup. His retirement stunned many as his fans believed that he had a lot of cricket left in him.  

"I had been in decent form during the Indian Premier League and casually repeated what I had said when asked a year earlier, that I was available if required... but only if required. I made absolutely no demands at all. I certainly did not try to force my way into the World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament, and did not expect to be included. There was no burning issue from my side, and no sense of injustice,” de Villiers said.

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