AB de Villiers announces sudden retirement from international cricket
South African batsman AB de Villiers has retired from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect. The 34-year-old broke the news to the world through a video message posted on his Twitter handle. This comes just days after his IPL side, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, were knocked out of the ongoing season.
"It's time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired. It is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I would like to retire while still playing decent cricket."
"After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels the right time to step aside. It won't be right for me to pick and choose where and when, and in what format I play for the Proteas. For the Green and Gold, it must be everything or nothing", he said in the video.
Having made his debut for South Africa in 2004, De Villiers played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, and 78 T20Is. Regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era, he holds several batting records, including the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in ODIs.
He took a sabbatical from Test cricket from January 2016 to December 2017, in order to prolong his international cricket, with an eye on participating in the 2019 World Cup, set to be held in England. He also stepped down from captaincy in August 2017 but returned to the Test side late last year against Zimbabwe as a batsman.
In the IPL this year, he was in great nick, scoring 480 runs from 12 games at an average of 53.33. His side, Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, couldn't qualify for the playoffs, ending sixth on the points table with 12 points from 14 games.