South Africa's AB de Villiers celebrates after scoring a century against Australia at St George's Park in March. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

JOHANNESBURG - AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all international cricket on Wednesday, posting a 90 second video on-line.

The 34 year old, fresh off a spectacular season in the Indian Premier League for the Royal Challengers Bangalore – which followed a magnificent Test summer for the Proteas – said the time had come for others to “take over,” in Proteas green.

“I’ve had my turn…and to be honest I’m tired,” De Villiers said in the video which was filmed at the University of Pretoria Oval.

De Villiers played 114 Tests, 228 One-Day Internationals and 78 T20 Internationals, and was among the sports brightest stars, as reflected in survey by American sports giant ESPN this week, where De Villiers was featured as one of the top 100 most famous sportsmen in the world.

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

De Villiers was instrumental in both of those two historic series triumphs, and his innings of 126* in the first innings of the second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth in March, was arguably one of his finest and of the best Test innings’ produced by any South African batsman.

De Villiers’ retirement will come as a major blow to South Africa’s plans for the 2019 World Cup, which is just a year away. Although he now can avail himself for various lucrative T20 offers around the world – including Australia’s Big Bash League which has courted him for a while – De Villiers said for now, he will look to ensure his talents remain available on the South African domestic scene.

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

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

IOL Sport

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