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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: AB de Villiers focused on winning the tournament, squashes retirement suggestions

ABD desperate to put an end to SA's drought in ICC tournaments.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers 

What’s the story?

AB de Villiers, South Africa’s limited-overs skipper has spurned the idea of retiring from the longest format of the game. The batting maestro further iterated that he is solely focused on winning the Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup for his nation. Although he hasn’t featured in any Test matches since the one against England in January last year, he insisted that it doesn't mean the end of the road as far as his Test career is concerned.

He also revealed that he wants to win trophies to be a part of a successful team and has made some important decisions in order to achieve that.

"I made some important decisions for my life and career in the last year or so in order for me to have the best chance of winning trophies and being part of a successful team," De Villiers said in Hove on Thursday (May 18), on the eve of South Africa's first practice game, a 50-over encounter against Sussex.

"Physically I realised I'm the best I can be when I'm fresh and looking forward to cricket instead of the other way round and being tired when I'm playing. Spending time with the family has done me the world of good and it is about finding the balance of working hard to win with time away from the game. I haven't retired, no. But I'm not going to change my decision. I'll look indecisive," he added.

In case you didn’t know...

The star batsman suffered an elbow injury during the tri-nation series in the Caribbean and consequently missed the home Test series against New Zealand, the tour of Australia and the home Test series against Sri Lanka. He made a comeback in the ODIs against the Lankans earlier this year. Ever since he has pulled out of Tests which included the recently concluded one against New Zealand and the upcoming series against England and Bangladesh.

South Africa last won an ICC tournament in 1998 and de Villiers is been in the squad that hasn’t won any silverware in any of ICC’s major tourney and has a poor record in global tournaments.

The heart of the matter

The Proteas skipper is nearing the end of his international career and seems determined to put a stop to South Africa’s drought in ICC tournaments. De Villiers still awaits his first big tournament victory and is seems to be willing go to any extent to achieve it.

Nevertheless, he acknowledges the fact that these tournaments will have the finest cricketing nations in the world contesting and are very competitive. However, he feels that his team has it in them to go all the way in the tournament.

Also read: IPL 2017 Qualifier 2, MI vs KKR: 5 things that went wrong for Kolkata Knight Riders

What’s next?

De Villiers is with the South African team for the initial segment of their England tour comprising three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against the hosts - as part of preparations for the upcoming Champions Trophy.

The Champions Trophy is due to begin on the 1st of June in England. The hosts have lost only one ODI series at home since their exit from the 2015 World Cup and will be a team to watch out for.

Author’s take

The Proteas have been unfortunate in the ICC tournaments, not being able to bag any trophies so far even though they have always had squads that come across as a strong contender on paper. And whilst South Africa might not go into the tournament as the favourite –  with players like De Villiers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock in their ranks, they certainly have the firepower to take home the coveted trophy.

Also read: From being a waiter in Goa to joining Mumbai Indians in IPL 2017 - the inspiring story of Kulwant Khejroliya

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