AB de Villiers sends the ball sailing into the Wanderers crowd during the Pink ODI against India in February. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani has hailed AB de Villiers, saying that he “thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance” after the former captain announced his retirement on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old posted a video on Twitter, stating that he felt “tired” and that it was the right time to go, while he was still playing “decent cricket”.

Of course, he was playing more than just decent cricket, as he proved with a magnificent hundred against Australia in Port Elizabeth in March, which turned out to be his 22nd and last Test ton.

So, he goes out of the international scene at the top of his game. 

“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,” Nenzani said in a statement on Wednesday.

“What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his teammates, 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.

READ: AB de Villiers announces his retirement from international cricket

“We thank him for the contribution he has made to South African cricket and specifically to make the Proteas world leaders, and we wish him and his family everything of the best in his future endeavours.”

While the acting chief executive of Cricket SA, Thabang Moroe, said De Villiers’ call it a day was a “disappointing decision”, he added that it is one that has to be respected.

“AB has been a colossus on the world stage for well over a decade and we are indeed grateful that most of this time he has been wearing the colours of our beloved Proteas,” Moroe said.

“We all have our standout memories of his career, and they are all very happy ones. I think particularly of the way he was embraced by the whole of India when he led the Proteas to their ODI Series victory in India a few years ago.

“His ability to improvise has made him known as Mr. 360 Degrees in white-ball cricket, and we will never ever forget those remarkable innings that earned him the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in ODI cricket.

“We are immensely grateful for what he has meant to South African cricket in all its constituencies, and we wish him and his family everything of the best for the future.”

 

IOL Sport