Reaction to AB de Villiers’ Shock Retirement

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PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 11: AB de Villiers of South Africa after day 3 of the 2nd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at St Georges Park on March 11, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Reaction to AB de Villiers’ Shock Retirement

Every era has that genius, one who stands a class apart from others. Sport has abundance of them. Ronaldo, Messi, Tendulkar, Lara, Federer, Nadal, and so many more. AB de Villiers is a genius who redefined Cricket beyond recognition. There have been many tweaks to the formats, rules and the minutes of the game. The approach though, has been transformed by this Legend. After 14 years of breathtaking brilliance, de Villiers has rather surprisingly called an end to a Champion career.

In a video on Twitter from the Tuks Cricket Club in Pretoria, where he was first called up to the South African squad, de Villiers delivered the shocking news of his retirement. Here is what he said in his announcement video:

“I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect”.  “It is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.”

“This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.”

“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years.”
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“The most important thank you goes out to all of my team mates throughout my career. I wouldn’t be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years.”

“It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the world, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.”

“I have no plans to play overseas, in fact I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”

Outrageous Numbers

AB de Villiers has racked up some amazing and unbelievable numbers in his magnificent career:

    • 114 Tests, 8765 runs, 50.66 average, 46 fifties, 22 hundreds, 278* Highest Score.
    • 228 ODIs, 9577 runs, 53.50 average, 53 fifties, 25 hundreds, 176 Highest Score, 101.09 Strike Rate.
    • 78 T20Is, 1672 runs, 26.12 average, 10 fifties, 79* Highest Score, 135.16 Strike Rate.
    • 141 IPL matches, 3953 runs, 39.53 average, 28 fifties, 3 hundreds, 133* Highest Score, 150.94 Strike Rate.
    • Holds the records for the fastest 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls) of all time in One Day Internationals by any batsmen, and also holds the fastest hundred by a South African in Tests and the fastest 50 by South African in T20Is.
    • A three-time ICC ODI Player of the Year, winning the award in 2010, 2014 and 2015.

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  • Holds the second-highest individual score by a South African batsman, with 278 (not out).
  • AB de Villiers took 11 catches against Pakistan in Johannesburg in the 2012-13 season, equalling the record for most number of catches by a wicket-keeper in a Test match. He shares the record with former England keeper, Jack Russell. He also scored an unbeaten 103 in South Africa’s second innings, becoming the first wicket-keeper to score a century and claim 10 dismissals in a Test.
  • In December 2013, at the peak of his powers, de Villiers became the ninth batsman to top the batting rankings in both Tests and ODIs.
  • 114 Tests, fifth most in South African history.
  • 8765 Test runs, fourth most in South African history.
  • 22 Test Hundreds, fourth most in South African history.

How The World Reacted

“Must admit to being a bit shocked by @ABdeVilliers17 decision to quit all international cricket. We knew it was coming but I thought he would give the World Cup another shot. I said in a blog sometime back that @ABdeVilliers17 was the true natural successor to Lara. He too can ask ” Did I entertain?” And the answer would be a resounding “Yes. Yes!”  The fans gave @ABdeVilliers17 a second home in Bengaluru but all over India there will be disappointment. He is the most popular overseas cricketer to play in India,” tweeted Harsha Bhogle.

“Like your on-field game, may you have 360-degree success off the field as well. You will definitely be missed, @ABdeVilliers17. My best wishes to you!,” tweeted legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

The BCCI tweeted: “As the Proteas legend @ABdeVilliers17 calls it a day on his international career, we at BCCI would like to wish him all the very best for his future endeavours.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted: “Such a shame for international cricket @ABdeVilliers17 … But he has been an unbelievable advert to how I would have loved to have played all 3 formats .. GREAT GREAT Player … Top 3 that I have ever seen .. #AB.”

Former India opener Virender Sehwag tweeted: “Congratulations @ABdeVilliers17 , the most loved cricketer in the world, on a wonderful career. International cricket will be poorer without you, but you will continue to be celebrated by cricket fans around the world .”
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Former South Africa wicketkeeper and teammate Mark Boucher tweeted: “I remember this young guy on his first day out for the Proteas. What an inspiration, person and player, he turned out to be. Thank you for everything you have done for your country, teammates and fans.”

Former South Africa fast bowler Allan Donald tweeted: “So shocked to hear AB de Villiers has decided to call time on his international career. But that’s just life and he feels it’s time to move on. Thank you great man for your amazing match-winning performances, skillful captaincy and most of all your humility.”

Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif tweeted: “One of the all time greats of the game, many congratulations AB de Villiers on an outstanding career. The (Roger) Federer of cricket, the most loved cricketer on the planet. Wish you the best for your future endeavours.”

Former Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardena tweeted: “One of the best! Wish you all the best AB. Amazing player, but above all that great guy…”

Former India seam bowler RP Singh tweeted: “The man who showed the world that batting 360° is an easy task. All the best for your future endeavours AB de Villiers, thank you for all the unforgettable memories!”

Australia women’s international Alex Blackwell tweeted: “True legend. Finishing on top and allowing next generation to step up. The way AB found innovative ways to dominate bowling attacks was an inspiration.”

Former India batsman Aakash Chopra tweeted: “The biggest entertainer in the last decade has bid goodbye to International cricket. Your absence will be felt, AB. Cricket will be poorer.”

His current IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore tweeted: “Sudden but we’re confident there was immense thought and contemplation behind the decision. You have to come back to Bengaluru in 2019. #Mr360 #PlayBold #RCB”

CEO of Cricket South Africa Chris Nenzani said in a statement: “AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern day batting in all three formats but particularly in the white ball ones to new levels.

“What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his team mates whether playing at international or domestic level and the wonderful role model he has been to all our aspiring youngsters. It goes without saying that he is going to be greatly missed wherever international cricket is played.”

The Cricket World is in deep shock and sad after this announcement. A true gentleman, an idol to billions and an exhilarating player. Cricket will miss this genius, the man who revolutionised the game!

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