Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa batsman AB de Villiers has stunned the cricketing community by announcing his retirement from international cricket.
De Villiers, who admitted that he had grown increasingly “tired”, made the announcement on an official video posted on his app.
The 34-year-old’s decision to bring his international career to an end comes just four days after he completed another Indian Premier League (IPL) season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.
“This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.
“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years. The most important thank you goes out to all of my team-mates throughout my career, I wouldn’t be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years.
“It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the world, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.
“I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”
De Villiers took a break from a majority of South Africa’s Test series last year as he wanted to prolong his limited overs career.
However, upon returning to the longest format, he insisted that he was committed to representing his country in all three formats.
De Villiers has also made it clear that he has no intentions of competing for a place in South Africa’s squad for the 2019 World Cup. It was widely speculated that De Villiers would retire from international cricket after the event in England and Wales.
De Villiers ended up representing South Africa in 114 Tests, where he scored 8,765 runs, which included 22 centuries and 46 half-centuries, at an average of 50.66.
He also featured in 228 ODIs and accumulated 9,577 runs, which included 25 hundreds and 53 fifties, at an average of 53.50.
As for his Twenty20 International career, De Villiers played 78 matches and amassed 1,672 runs, which included 10 half-centuries, at an average of 26.12.
De Villiers is, without a doubt, one of the best batsmen South Africa ever produced and he ends his career as the country’s fourth-highest run-scorer in Test cricket and second-highest run-scorer in ODIs.
He also holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred, which came against the West Indies in January 2015, as he only took 31 balls to bring up the milestone.