JOHANNESBURG – Despite calling time on his international career and a shot at winning a World Cup, AB De Villiers will continue to be active on the field, at least in India and South Africa.
De Villiers has said that he will continue playing the Indian Premier League “for a few years”.
The South Africa stalwart shocked the cricketing world by announcing his international retirement abruptly in May, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he would continue playing at the domestic level, or in T20 leagues.
At the time, he said he had “no plans to play overseas” and that he hoped to “continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket”.
However, he has now confirmed that the IPL remains a part of his plans.
“I will keep on playing IPL for a few years, and I would like to play for the Titans, and help some of the youngsters,” De Villiers was quoted as saying by iol.co.za.
“But there are no set plans. I haven't been able to say that for a long time. There are some offers on the table from around the world, but it will be nice to wake up and wonder what to do … to be normal.”
That De Villiers called it time before securing an ICC Cricket World Cup winners’ medal surprised many, especially given he had made no secret of his desire to win the tournament.
However, the 34-year-old reiterated that the decision to retire became easier once he accepted that winning the marquee event wouldn’t define his career.
“For a long time, the World Cup was a massive goal,” de Villiers said, as he has in the past. “But, in the last few years, I have realised that it isn't realistic to measure yourself purely on what you achieve in that tournament. That will not be the be-all and end-all of my career.
“I guess that once I acknowledged to myself that I didn't have to measure my career on one tournament, place so much emphasis on it, it became easier to make my decision. I also didn't want to be picking and choosing my way through fixtures from now until then. It wouldn't be fair.”
That said, De Villiers did recount a few memories from ICC Cricket World Cups over the years, and said some of those experiences helped South Africa in other areas of the sport.
“Yes, I would have loved to win it, but I have great memories from World Cups,” he said. “The 2007 tournament – my first – was very special.
“We fell short against Australia, when we tried to play too much cricket too soon, but that shift in mentality probably helped us to go over there and win the Test series we then won over there. Personally, I scored my first ODI century in that 2007 tournament, and I loved the whole experience of being in the Caribbean.
“The same goes for the others, in 2011 and in 2015. India has always been close to my heart, because of the passion for cricket, and then obviously 2015 was an amazing game (the semifinal against New Zealand).
“We fell on the wrong side of it, but we gave it everything.”
African News Agency (ANA)