AB de Villiers steps down as South Africa ODI captain; available for selection in all three formats

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AB de Villiers steps down as South Africa ODI captain; available for selection in all three formats

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SportsCafe Desk


AB de Villiers has announced his decision to give up the reins of the Proteas yesterday while making him available for selection in all three formats of the game. The 33-year old last led South Africa in the Champions Trophy in May-June and faced a lot of flak for team's dismal performance.

AB de Villiers finally put all the questions to bed by announcing his resignation as the South African captain on Wednesday. The 33-year old had earlier expressed his desire to leading South Africa to a maiden World Cup after the Proteas suffered an early exit from the Champions Trophy in June. However, de Villiers also clarified that he will be available to play in all the three formats for the South African team.

De Villiers announced his retirement via a video released on his application and suggested it was time for someone else to fill in his shoes. The explosive batsman put his weight behind Faf du Plessis to succeed him in ODIs as the latTer has performed fairly well in Tests and T20Is as the skipper.

"Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the T20 and Test teams, and bearing this in mind, I've informed Cricket South Africa that I would like to step down as captain of the ODI team," de Villiers said. "It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for somebody else to lead the ODI team forward."

There were a lot of speculations regarding de Villiers returning in the all-whites for the Proteas and the 33-year old had been in a sabbatical from the team since January 2016 owing to either injuries or his heavy workload. However, de Villiers clarified he would be available for selection in the Test squad starting October this year.

"A lot has been said and written over the past 12 months and I feel it is time to make my position absolutely clear," de Villiers stated. "Over the past year or so, I've tried to manage my commitments. I've felt mentally and physically tired. Playing in all three formats ever since 2004 has taken its toll. Together with Cricket South Africa, we've tried to develop a viable schedule which allows me to prolong my career for as long as possible. This strategy has prompted some people to say that I'm picking and choosing when to play for the Proteas and even to suggest I'm somehow putting myself before the team. This is simply not true. Playing for South Africa is and will always be the greatest privilege of my life.

"Following this recent break, I really do feel refreshed and revived. I want to get back on the field and I have assured the national selectors that I'll be available for selection in all three formats of the game during the coming season. There is plenty of hard work ahead in the nets and I must prepare properly. But I'll be ready to play, if required, from the middle of October onwards."

South Africa is scheduled to take on Bangladesh who will tour the Rainbow nation in late September and will be playing two Tests, three ODIs, and two T20Is.

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