It was important for me after 12 years of international cricket just to sit back and have a look, says AB de Villiers

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It was important for me after 12 years of international cricket just to sit back and have a look, says AB de Villiers

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SportsCafe Desk

09/02/2017

AB de Villiers doesn't have any regret for taking a 12-month break from international cricket as he feels that it was important for him to get away from constant pressure. He has also rubbished the claims of his Test retirement and cleared that he is available for all three formats of the game.

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers decided to take a year long break from international cricket to just breathe and step away from the mundane routine of facing pressure and expectations from all over the world. Since 2016, De Villiers hasn't played Test cricket due to injuries and personal reasons. He wasn't even the part of recently concluded Test series in England. Because of this long break, speculations of de Villiers thinking over leaving the Tests started doing rounds. However, de Villiers came out and stated that he is completely available to play all three forms of the game.

"Last 12 months have been really important for me. It was important to take a bit of a step back... I've become a father of two. A lot of things happened personally for me off the field. It was important for me after 12 years of international cricket just to sit back and have a look at the way I want to go in the last few years of my career. Not sure how long it is going to be, but I really enjoyed the last 12 months, just to make sure that whatever is going to happen in the future happens in the right way and hopefully there are more runs to come," told de Villiers to Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz Unplugged.

The 33-year-old has a large fan following in all over the world and is one of the finest cricketers of the modern-day game. However, with being the best comes high levels of expectations from the fans. That is why taking a break and getting away from the limelight was very much essential and an important task on his agenda.

"Must be brutally honest, that [growing expectations] is part of why I really enjoyed the last 12 months. Just to sort of get away a little bit, not to feel the constant pressure of having to perform to the expectations day in day out. That does get to you. I am not comparing myself, but I look at a Roger Federer walked out of the game for a while," the skipper said.

De Villiers explained that it is natural to get overwhelmed between the quest to touch the skies. On August 23, he issued a statement stating that playing all three formats of the game had adverse effects on him and that he was physically and mentally exhausted before he took the break.

"I think that kind of thing surely played a big role in this decision to walk away for a while. Not to put pressure on myself day in day out. Now that I've managed it for so long, the huge desire and hunger to be the best... and once you get close to that it does start eating you a little bit. People start expecting you to do it non-stop and don't always remember how long it took you to get to a certain level. It did play a role in the last 12 months for me to step away. Sort of just to breathe again. And I feel I am ready to take it on again," he said.

Offering his commitment to all three formats, De Villiers dreams of ending his career with a victory in the 2019 World Cup. However, he will not go to an extra mile in order to accomplish it.

"It [World Cup 2019 triumph] is not the driving factor... but it is a dream. It'll be fantastic to finish like that, lift the trophy with the boys. If I don't, it's okay - I've had a fantastic career, I've stayed healthy for majority of my career and I've had some fantastic knocks, made some great friendships and won some amazing games, and obviously seen some lows as well. I've had a great ride. So it's not the deciding factor, but I'd love to finish there."

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