CAPE TOWN – Some of his closest Proteas teammates and friends have praised AB de Villiers for his stellar career, with captain Faf du Plessis saying: “Gonna miss you.”
Proteas fans may still be taking it all in after De Villiers surprised many, including Cricket South Africa, by hanging up his bat just a year out from the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which was one last big goal in a glittering career.
But it was not to be, with De Villiers saying “to be honest, I’m tired” in a video message conveying his decision to retire from international cricket on Wednesday.
He said he will still turn out for the Titans, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he turns out at next year’s IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore again.
Faf Du Plessis posted on Instagram:
“Gonna miss playing with mate. So many great memories of partnerships that we shared on the cricket field.
Sad that we won’t bat together again for the green and gold .Gonna miss [email protected]”
Hashim Amla said “What a player, what a man!” and added that it was an honour to watch De Villiers play.
Former SA captain Graeme Smith said:
“nothing but love… it’s been an absolute privilege”
One of De Villiers’ lieutenants, JP Duminy, said he was one of the greatest batsmen of all time:
“Most definitely a G.O.A.T in my book. Truly an honour to have shared some memorable moments on and off the field with you champion. Congrats on an outstanding international career. Wishing you all the best in the next chapter my friend. Good well Braampie @abdevilliers17 #GOAT”
Most definitely a G.O.A.T in my book. Truly an honour to have shared some memorable moments on and off the field with you champion. Congrats on an outstanding international career. Wishing you all the best in the next chapter my friend. Good well Braampie @abdevilliers17 #GOAT pic.twitter.com/RV7eK5JmJS
Ex-Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara was glowing in his praise too:
“A wonderful advert for how glorious athleticism and cricketing skill can be at their highest levels”, while Aussie paceman Mitchell Johnson said De Villiers was “always the toughest to play against”.
Indian coach Ravi Shastri echoed what many of his countrymen feel about De Villiers by saying:
“Did wonders for the modern era of the game. A thorough gentleman and role model to millions. Take a bow ABD.”
Jacques Kallis, the only South African to score more ODI runs than De Villiers, also wished him well in his retirement:
“Congrats on an awesome career @ABdeVilliers17 Enjoy retirement and the extra time with your family. Was a pleasure watching you as a youngster and then becoming one of the best in the world.”
Kevin Pietersen posted on Twitter:
Just seen that @ABdeVilliers17 retired. Congrats on an unreal career buddy! Life gets better now with family and friends!
Dale Steyn wrote about how they started their Proteas careers together in 2004, and concluded his message with:
“There’ll never be another Ab de Villiers.”
We started this cricket thing way back in 2004 We’ve seen the world, met amazing people, played the great teams and beaten the best there is in it too. We’ve shared change rooms, been roomies, golf partners, McDonald’s after late nights. You’re a champion man in my book bud, and I’m pretty sure in everyone else’s too. Congratulations on a stellar international career, it’s been a incredible journey and privilege to have shared it with you. There’ll never be another Ab de Villiers 👊🏼
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