Britain Cricket - South Africa Nets - Ageas Bowl - June 20, 2017 South Africa's AB de Villiers during nets Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic

There was no contact between me and CSA: AB de Villiers on World Cup fiasco

New Delhi [India], July 12 (ANI): Former South African cricketer AB de Villiers issued a statement on Friday saying there had been no contact between him and Cricket South Africa (CSA) for months related to the player’s plan of coming out of retirement ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
His remarks come in the wake of the revelation by CSA’s selection panel that de Villiers wanted to make his way back into the team on the day of the team selection for the World Cup. “Now the Proteas’ World Cup campaign is over, and the team cannot be distracted, I would like to respond to unjustified criticism of me during the tournament. I continue to be asked to comment on the disclosure, and distortion, of a private conversation that took place just before the squad, was announced and, for the benefit of anyone who may have felt let down, would like to explain what happened,” de Villiers wrote in a tweet.
“First, I announced my retirement from international cricket in May 2018 because I wanted to reduce my workload and spend more time with my wife and young sons. Some have insisted I was motivated purely by money. They are wrong. In truth, I have turned down many lucrative offers to play around the world, and have cut the time spent away from home each year from eight months to just over three months,” he added.

The 35-year-old said that after playing in the IPL, he asked current skipper Faf Du Plessis whether he could represent Proteas in the World Cup and added no demands were made by him ahead of the tournament.
“During the weeks and months that followed, there was no formal contact between Cricket South Africa or the Proteas and me. I didn’t call them, and they didn’t call me. I had made my decision and the Proteas moved on, enjoying success under the expert guidance of coach Ottis Gibson and the outstanding captaincy of Faf du Plessis,” the statement said.
“Faf and I have been friends since we were at school together and, two days before the World Cup squad was announced, I contacted him for a chat. I had been in decent form during the Indian Premier League and casually repeated what I had said when asked a year earlier, that I was available if required… but only if required. I made absolutely no demands at all. I certainly did not try to force my way into the World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament, and did not expect to be included. There was no burning issue from my side, and no sense of injustice,” he added.

When South Africa lost their third match in a row at the World Cup, the decision of de Villiers wanting to come out of retirement broke out in the media. However, de Villiers said it was not him who leaked the news and added that he was unfairly described as arrogant.
“Then, Out of the blue, on the evening after the Proteas lost to India, suffering a third successive World Cup defeat, elements of our private conversation were disclosed to the media, and distorted to cast me in the worst possible light. The story was not leaked by me, or anybody associated with me, or by Faf. Maybe someone wanted to deflect criticism. I don’t know,” de Villiers said.
“As a result, I was unfairly described as arrogant, selfish and indecisive but, with all humility, my conscience is clear. I retired for honest reasons and, when asked if I could be available for the World Cup, agreed to keep the door open. In the event, understandably, the team moved on. No problem. I am not angry with anybody,” he added.

Earlier, the head coach of Proteas Ottis Gibson had said that if de Villiers wanted to be a part of World Cup squad, he would have been there with the team.
“Personally, I suspect that there are a lot more people wanting AB to be here than AB himself because I believe that if AB wanted to be here, he would be here. But he is wherever he is in the world right now and doing exactly what he wants to be doing. If he wanted to be here, he would be here. That’s how I see it,” head coach Ottis Gibson had said about de Villiers’ plans.
De Villiers had announced his retirement from international cricket on May 23, 2018. The player went on to play 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is for Proteas.
The player holds the record for scoring the fastest fifty, century and 150 in ODI cricket.
South Africa were knocked out of the tournament and they even failed to make it to the semi-final stage. The team had 7 points from nine matches. (ANI)

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