“Never go back to your ex, they are ex for a reason” - someone wise.
Relationships are hard and it becomes even harder when some toxicity is added to the equation, resulting in some bad and ugly moments for the partners to regret upon. Sometimes it’s best to take a break in such a scenario rather than trying to work things out, but what’s the fun in that? Toxicity, drama, tears are precisely what is needed for an exciting story and in today’s Saturday’s Satire, it will be provided by the bittersweet (mostly bitter) relationship of AB de Villiers and Cricket South Africa.
De Villiers and CSA have had such a toxic relationship that even the Bollywood writers, who excel in portraying such gibberish on the screen, will be left in awe with the destructive nature of their love story. However, before narrating this story I would like to warn you that this story is not for the faith hearted and just like Mukesh in the tobacco advertisement before the movie, you might get cancer after reading this article. Now that you are warned let’s get started with this story.
Cue Music. It was the early 2000s, CSA saw a young, talented wicket-keeper batsman and it was love at first sight. These feelings were not one-sided as the wicket-keeper batsman too showed the same emotions and kept trying to get into the national team, but the cricket board played hard to get. Finally, in a rush of hormones, a 20-year old was given the chance to represent his country in the longest format of the game. A few months later, he got his first ODI cap as well. Things were moving fast and they were intense.
It seemed like both were made for each other. They didn’t fight, never had an argument, in fact, they were the couple everyone looked up to and got jealous of. Of course, there were some rough patches in between like the Australia series and 2007 World Cup, but both stuck together as the gum gets stuck in the hair - mostly inseparable. On the professional front, de Villiers was slowly getting recognition on the international stage. One after another he was playing career-defining innings, making everyone take note of the ‘new star on the block’.
Such brilliant performances resulted in him getting inducted in the World Test and ODI XI by ICC in 2010. CSA’s love was reaching new heights with every passing match. It felt like de Villiers will finally quench the thirst of CSA for a World Cup. With that the 2011 World Cup arrived, the stage was set and the form was in favour of the wicket-keeper batsman. De Villiers played brilliant knocks for his love, scoring two successive centuries, and helped his country top the group. But the show couldn’t go on in the knockouts as the South African team choked on the emotions of this wonderful love story and they got thrashed out of the World Cup.
CSA was gutted with the exit and hence, decided to give the reins of the team to the partner, de Villiers. This relationship was taking its natural progression with both of them looking destined for each other. Taking on the triple role of a captain, a wicket-keeper, and a batsman, it felt like de Villiers was taking on too much for his comfort, but the boy was mad in love and he insisted that ‘it’s not too much on his plate’. However, things took a drastic turn when only months later he admitted that wicket-keeping was taking a toll on him. Guess! love wasn’t strong enough to handle the burden of the demanding job.
CSA handled the mood swings of de Villiers pretty well and gave him his own space, or whatever else he wanted - even if that meant sacrificing a promising career of Khaya Zondo. One could see the star power of Mr. 360 was taking over his love for CSA, but no one could say anything as he was literally smashing bowlers for fun in all the formats with the 2015 World Cup on the horizon. CSA stayed calm and let the man do his thing as the World Cup dream seemed more than possible.
Once again, de Villiers announced his arrival in the World Cup in style as he piled on runs with an average of 96, including the record-breaking 162 runs off 66 balls against West Indian, which made him the record holder for the fastest 50, 100, and 150 in ODI history. With South Africa reaching the semi-final, the dream that both the lovers had seen together had reached its climax. Just two wins and the coveted trophy in hand.
But as usual, AB de Villiers didn’t like regular love-making on big occasions and that is exactly what he did along with the boys as he choked under the pressure of semi-final, trying to make passionate love, and the whole journey ended in an anti-climactic fashion with de Villiers in tears. Almost everyone felt exactly what de Villiers was feeling on that cricket field, screwed. This was particularly a tough period for both the lovers as they tried to console each other, but something was amiss.
It felt like de Villiers had given up on the relationship after the World Cup. His flaky self had taken over completely from his initial ‘knight in the shining armour’ for CSA. He played matches when he wished to, he kept when he wished to, he captained when he wished to and complained all the time. The relationship was getting toxic with every passing day. De Villiers started having problems with everything in spite of CSA trying its best to make him happy. He did manage to give CSA a few gifts in the form of amazing victories, but those victories meant nothing without love.
Finally, on 23 May 2018, de Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Everyone saw it coming but the most shocking part was that a few weeks after the break-up, he announced he would continue playing T20 leagues. It was only a break from CSA, not from others. It must have left brutal marks on the heart of CSA.
Picking itself up from the ugly break-up, CSA tried to find it’s way back, but it could never really get back to its dominating self. Meanwhile, de Villiers continued to enjoy his life in T20 leagues, scoring tons of runs. Interestingly, it was rumoured earlier this year that he had proposed to the board to make his comeback for the 2020 T20 World Cup, but CSA stood its ground and said ‘no’ to the toxic relationship.
Moreover, the board slipped further downwards with multiple bad relationships, racial-allegations, so much so that the government had to intervene seeing the miserable state of the board. It got to the point where its guardian, ICC, had to step in and give them the ultimate to get its shit together or else get disowned. CSA did manage to not get disowned by ICC by having an interim board, but the mess they created continues to exist.
Shockingly, in a new revelation, head coach Mark Boucher stated that the board always thinks about getting de Villiers into the team, seeing him play so well. I mean, what is this self-destructive tendency of CSA? Doesn’t the board know the disastrous direction this reunion of theirs’ will take? Whatever be the case between the ex-lovers, it does not make any sense for CSA to go back to the toxic relationship. The board has hit their rock-bottom, but getting AB back into its life will only make CSA even more miserable, desperate for players, and over-dependent on a flaky-ex. All in all, the board will be able to get back to their sober self but for that they will have to make some right decisions, starting with sticking to their decision to not let AB back in the side.
With that this week’s Satire Saturday comes to an end. Do tune in next week for another enticing story if you are still feeling well after reading this hideous article. Adios!