CSA acting CEO makes stunning revelation about De Villiers

Cricket South Africa acting CEO Thabang Moroe AB de Villiers refused to wait on decision to retire South Africa cricket

AB de Villiers: “He wasn’t willing to wait, which was pretty strange”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting CEO Thabang Moroe has revealed that AB de Villiers wasn’t willing to hold fire on his decision to retire from international cricket.

De Villiers’ decision shocked the cricketing world, but it also dealt a massive blow to the Proteas as they will now be without one of the greatest batsmen the country has ever produced going forward.

While Moroe was just as stunned as everyone else when he heard that De Villiers was intent on retiring, he made it clear that the 34-year-old had no issues with CSA.

Moroe came to the board’s defence as there has been speculation that CSA may have played a role in De Villiers’ decision to retire as they have been in talks with the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) about a new Memorandum of Understanding and financial model.

“None at all,” Moroe told Sport24 when asked if De Villiers had a problem with CSA. “I spoke to Faf yesterday and he also said he didn’t see this coming.”

Moroe revealed that De Villiers informed him of his decision via a phone call on Wednesday morning.

Upon being questioned whether the board could have done more to halt De Villiers from pulling the trigger on his decision to retire, Moroe said: “What is it that AB would want, because as important as he is as a player, at some point you need to draw the line in terms of what it is that you can give your players.

“What happens if a guy like Kagiso (Rabada) says that he wants to retire from international cricket tomorrow? Must we offer him the same thing?

“To be quite fair to AB, he never asked for anything. All he asked for was for me to support his decision.”

Moroe also reiterated that he wanted to meet with De Villiers, but the Pretoria native “wasn’t willing to wait” as he was dead set on bringing his international career to an end.

“He didn’t really give me much time or any opportunity to try and change his mind,” Moroe said. “When he spoke to me he told me that this was a decision he had been sitting with for the past five months and that’s how long it’s taken him to get to where he is today.

“I was shocked, and I didn’t know how to react to it other than to tell him that I respect his decision.

“I asked him to hang ten, because I was in Cape Town in talks with SACA. He explained that he was willing to talk about it yesterday already, which is why he called me because he was hoping to come to the office. He wasn’t willing to wait, which was pretty strange. I respected the fact that he called me and appreciated it.”

Moroe added that captain Faf du Plessis, who is one of De Villiers’ closest friends, didn’t have an inkling that De Villiers wanted to retire.

“Before the guys left for the IPL I had a chat with Faf talking about the future of the Proteas as well as the senior guys in the team,” Moroe said. “Faf told me that there was nothing to worry about and that we will talk when he comes back from the IPL, but that as far as the senior players were concerned, they are all committed, and we would talk about exit strategies and their plans after the World Cup. I thought we still had time.”

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