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Jonty Rhodes wants AB de Villiers back in the South Africa team for the T20 World Cup

  • AB de Villiers announced his retirement from international cricket back in May 2018.
ANALYST
News
Modified 11 Mar 2020, 15:59 IST

Jonty Rhodes
Jonty Rhodes

Arguably the greatest fielder in the history of the game, Jonty Rhodes wants AB de Villiers back in the South African team for the T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia later this year.

De Villiers has been given a deadline by Proteas head coach Mark Boucher and the star batsman has to make himself available by 1st June.

One of the finest batsmen of the modern era, De Villiers announced his retirement in May 2018. However, he had expressed his desire to come out of retirement and take part in the 2019 ODI World Cup. But his offer was turned down by national selectors and then-ODI skipper Faf du Plessis.

Given South Africa’s below-par performances in the ICC tournaments, Rhodes feels irrespective of the situation, the Proteas should bring back De Villiers for the T20 World Cup.

Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, De Villiers said,


"I'm a big fan of AB de Villiers. I'm just not sure of the precedent. If you want to win a T20 World Cup, you should do anything to win it.
"I suppose a lot of people watch how he performed at the IPL but just watching him in the Big Bash, he's such a class player.
"I think it's interesting because it's a tough call. You want your best team to play, it's also tough on the guys who then miss out. You know AB is a very special player so then do you set a precedent for a guy like AB de Villiers if he is not playing for South Africa, I mean why are you selecting him."

Also see – CSK Team

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As mentioned earlier, Du Plessis and the South African selectors did not accept De Villiers' proposal of a possible return ahead of the 2019 World Cup. They felt it would have been unjust for a player who was part of the team in the lead up to the mega event to be replaced by someone who didn’t play enough competitive cricket coming into the tournament.

Rhodes is of the same opinion and said that calling back De Villiers may force South Africa to leave out a player who would have otherwise been in contention for selection.


"You are not breaking any rules, you are setting a slight precedent and you are going to be upsetting a few players who are going to miss out. But a team without AB de Villiers or a team with AB de Villiers... I'd love to see that guy play.
"Although difficult to answer that because I'm not somebody who is missing out, I'm also not from the administration about setting this kind of precedent, so I don't have to make that call.
"It'll just be great to see AB de Villiers play at a World Cup again for us."

After beating Australia 3-0 in a recently concluded ODI series, South Africa will next take on India in a three-match ODI series.

Published 10 Mar 2020, 21:29 IST
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