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World Cup 2019: AB de Villiers responds to the retirement controversy

06 Jun 2019, 16:42 IST

AB de Villiers wants fans to back the players
AB de Villiers wants fans to back the players

What’s the story?

Former South African batsman AB de Villiers has responded to reports that he had approached the South African team management to play the ODI World Cup. AB posted a message on twitter saying that everyone should focus on supporting the South African team at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

In case you didn’t know...

AB de Villers had retired from international cricket in May last year citing tiredness as the reason. However, as per the reports, he made an offer just 24 hours before South Africa's selectors were to name the final 15-man squad for the World Cup. It is believed that he approached captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Ottis Gibson and the Convenor of Selectors Linda Zondi, with the request to play the World Cup but the request was "not even considered".

The heart of the matter

The steam management refused AB’s request as he had not played any South African domestic cricket or international cricket in the intervening months. The move to bring him back would have also sent a wrong signal to young players like Rassie van der Dussen, who had been impressive and made three fifties in his first four ODI innings and could have even demoralised the other players in contention for the World Cup squad.

The news of AB requesting to play the World Cup has created a stutter worldwide with the fans arguing if the South African team management had made the right decision. This made AB post a message for the fans to focus on backing the team at the World Cup. He posted the following message on Twitter:

The South African team is in total disarray at the World Cup having lost all of their three matches to England, Bangladesh, and India. A major cause of their failures has been the disappointing performances from their star batsmen. Captain du Plessis has failed to fire while the likes of David Miller, J.P Duminy have gotten starts but have failed to carry on and play a big innings.

What’s next?

With three defeats in their kitty, South Africa will now need to win all six of its remaining group fixtures in order to put up their contention to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals. They will next take on the West Indies in Southampton on Monday.

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