AB de Villiers announces retirement from cricket

Image Credit: BCCI

AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket today. The 37-year-old played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is for South Africa and 184 matches in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The 37-year-old played at the highest level and dominated both Test and ODI cricket, averaging over 50 in both formats, and is credited as one of the most inventive, entertaining and ground-breaking batters in history.

De Villiers also dominated around the globe in various T20 leagues, including the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore and a brief stint in the Big Bash with the Brisbane Heat.

The right-hander announced his decision to retire from all forms of the game on Twitter on Friday evening (AEDT) in a lengthy post.

De Villiers stated that, the “flame no longer burns so brightly” as he announced his decision in a series of tweets. It brings to an end his 18-year professional career.

“That’s the reality I must accept – and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement today. I’ve had my time,” he wrote.

“Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Whether playing for the Titans, or the Proteas, or RCB, or around the world, the game has given me unimagined experiences and opportunities, and I will always be grateful.”

He thanked his wife, children, family, teammates for their sacrifices and support and said he “looks forward to the next chapter” of his life, where he could put his family first.

The explosive batsman and former national team captain played his last Test match in March 2018 against Australia and his last ODI in February 2018 against India. His last T20 match for the Proteas was played the year before.

In his 114 Tests, de Villiers scored 8,765 runs and 9,577 runs in 228 ODIs.

He had announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket in March 2018, but continued playing in the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

He has been one of the most successful foreign players in IPL history, scoring 5,162 runs—second only to David Warner—at an average of 39.7 and a strike rate of 151.68. He is the only player in the top 20 run scorers with a striker rate of more than 150.

“I have had a long and fruitful time playing for RCB,” he said in a video message posted on the team’s Twitter handle.

“Eleven years have just whizzed by and leaving the boys is extremely bittersweet. Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time, but after a lot of contemplation, I’ve decided to hang up my boots and spend quality time with my family.”

RCB will always be very close to me and my family and will continue to support this amazing team. I am a RCBian forever.”

De Villiers’ batting highlights will be replayed for decades to come, and his career for the Proteas and in domestic T20 leagues have cemented him as one of South Africa’s greatest-ever players.

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