The startling news of AB De Villiers retiring from the international cricket has saddened the cricket fans across the world.
The former South African skipper played 114 tests, 228 one day internationals and 78 T20s and scoring over 20,000 runs across all formats with an average of over 50 in both tests and ODIs.
He was one of the greatest and most versatile batsmen of all times. On his day he had the ability to tore apart the opposition's bowling attack with his wide range of strokes.
It was hoped that he would at least be playing till 2019 world cup given how desirous he was to win a world cup for his country.
De Villiers made his test debut in the home series against England in 2004. He displayed how good a batsman he is by scoring a century in the series. His ODI debut was also against England in 2005.
In his long career of 14 years, he often made everyone speechless with his batting and fielding. Some of the strokes that he played were just jaw-dropping.
He had more than everything one looks for in a batsman.
#1 A record-breaking 149 vs West Indies, Johannesburg, 18 January 2015
It was 39th over of the innings, both the opening batsmen, Amla and Rossouw, had scored centuries and were scoring runs effortlessly but just then Rossouw lost his wicket.
West Indies must have had a moment of relief after breaking the staggering 247 runs partnership but they did not know that an even bigger storm was coming towards them.
De Villiers came in next to bat with the aim of maintaining the run rate but what the world saw in the next 11 overs was incredulous.
In those 11 overs, he not only scored the fastest half-century in 16 balls but also went on to score the fastest century in the history of the game in just 31 balls, that's a strike rate of over 320. The ball was flying all over the ground.
At the end of his innings, he had scored 149 runs off a mere 44 balls and fell short by 1 run of breaking another record of scoring the fastest 150.
2) His highest test score, 278 vs Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, 2010
In the first innings of the second match of the two-test match series, South Africa had lost three wickets for only 33 runs and was looking to get a low score.
De Villiers came in next to bat and stitched a crucial partnership of 179 runs to bring his team back into the game.
On one side he was scoring runs and on the other side, wickets were falling at regular intervals.
At one time they were 477-9 but ABD assured his team gets to big total and build a tenth wicket partnership of 107 runs with Morne Morkel and took his team to a huge score of 584-9d.
In the process of batting for more than 10 hours in the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi, he also broke the Graeme Smith's record of highest test score by a South African.
#3 Persistent 33 vs Australia, Adelaide, 2012
Yeah, you read that right. 33 runs in a test match is one of the best innings in his whole career.
Australia had their noses ahead for almost the whole match and set a target of 430 for South Africa.
A huge target to achieve on the fifth day of a test match. South Africa having lost four wickets before the start of play on fifth day were looking at the face of a big defeat.
But De Villiers and Faf du Plessis had something different in their minds. Both had a splendid partnership between them.
Even though the partnership was of only 89 runs, but they at the crease for almost 68 overs which is a back-breaking task.
ABD showed a near perfect defensive technique and batted for 246 balls to get his team out of the jaws of the defeat.
The level of patience he showed was commendable. A match that is remembered not for Michael Clarke's double century but for AB's 33 runs is itself an accomplishment.
#4 T20 Century vs Gujarat Lions, Bengaluru, 2016
One of his best T20 innings came not for South Africa, but in IPL. He came in to bat at No. 3 after the wicket of Chris Gayle.
It was an important match as RCB badly needed a win to have a chance at making to playoffs.
ABD came and started smashing runs from the word go and scored his half-century in 50 balls and smashed his next 50 runs in just 18 balls.
In his innings of 129 runs he hit 12 sixes and 10 fours, that's 112 runs just in boundaries. On the other side was another class batsman in Virat Kohli and together they stitched the biggest partnership of 229 runs in T20s.
As a result, won the match and got the two crucial points.
#5 The Last Century 126 vs Australia, Port Elizabeth, 2018
Australia was already 1-0 in the four-test match series and win in the second match would have ensured that they had no chance of losing the series.
Australia batting first posted a total of 243 runs on a pitch that was tough for batting. At one point they were 183-6 and it looked that South Africa would fail to reach the Australian total but ABD bailed out the team from the challenging situation.
Where almost every batsman struggled to score runs, AB showed his masterclass and scored a fabulous unbeaten 126 to take the team's score to 382 and a lead of 143 runs. Those extra runs greatly helped the South African team in winning the match and level the series 1-1.
Some players are good in the longer format and some in shorter formats but De Villiers (Mr. 360) was one of the few players who dominated all the formats. He was truly a cricketing genius and will be remembered for a long long time.