AB de Villiers wanted to retire from Test cricket a while back, says Jonty Rhodes
In the age of social media, everyone has an opinion. Some opinions matter more than others but there is no denying that there are keyboard warriors everyone, who have their say on everything that happens. One such topic that has dominated the cricket circles has been the subject of AB de Villiers' Test retirement.
Every current and former South African cricketer have had something to say about the matter. Jonty Rhodes, who is in Chennai, made no suggestions or indications about when the Proteas batsman should retire but did reveal that the 33-year-old wanted to retire from the format in 2016 but was persuaded to stay on.
After being announced as the mentor of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) side Ruby Trichy Warriors, the former South African star arrived in the city and spoke to reporters about the AB Test retirement saga on Wednesday.
“I think he (AB) wanted to retire from Test cricket a while back and CSA persuaded him to stay on. This was well before his injury, sometime around 2016. He was talking to people about carrying on or not in Test cricket,” Rhodes said.
A veteran of over 100 Tests, AB de Villiers has scored over 8,000 runs in the format at an average of over 50. But since 2016, he has played just three and opted out of playing in the away series against England, with many expecting the player to call time on his career in the longest format of the game shortly.
The former South African star also added that he spoke to AB de Villiers about the Global T20 League but not about his Test career. When pressed about AB's decision, Rhodes said that the call should come solely from the 33-year-old batsman and not from anyone else.
“Rumours come in from all sources. I spoke to AB de Villiers yesterday about the Global T20 League, and not about his Test cricket career. I am not an advisor of his career, so he doesn’t ask me about opinions. Every cricketer — from Sachin Tendulkar to MS Dhoni — knows when their time is right. Everyone calls time in a different time: The frustrating part from the South African cricket’s point of view is when you are waiting for somebody to come back in, you are trying to block the moving in.”
Rhodes spoke about the reaction in South Africa, with respect to T20 cricket and the general lack of enthusiasm when it comes to the Proteas players playing T20s around the world.
“In South Africa, people are critical, they don’t see IPL. They are against players making money, avoiding national duties. BCCI is the only board that doesn’t allow its players to participate in any other leagues. Our guys go from IPL, CPL, Big Bash."
The writing might be on the wall with respect to AB de Villiers's Test career, but Rhodes was clear that the decision must rest solely on the batsman's shoulders, especially if he already wanted to call time on his Test career last year.