In what could become a major controversy and derail already derailed South Africa Cricket teams ICC cricket world Cup 2019 campaign, the genius of AB De Villiers had wanted to be part of team in World Cup.
This is now revealed by ESPN Cricinfo in a report published today.
As per tge report in ESPNcricinfo AND in a major remarkable last-ditch offer to come out of international retirement for this summer’s World Cup, but was rebuffed by the South Africa team management on the eve of their final squad announcement.
The revelation comes amid a calamitous start to South Africa’s World Cup campaign, which has featured three defeats in a row – including Wednesday’s 6 wicket loss to India at the Hampshire Bowl – in addition to the loss of another of their all-time great players, Dale Steyn, who withdrew from the squad this week due to a shoulder injury.
ESPNcricinfo further reported that the offer was made in May, just 24 hours before South Africa’s selectors unveiled their final 15-man squad for the World Cup.
De Villiers is believed to have approached South Africa’s captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi, expressing his desire to reverse his retirement, but was told that this would not be possible. According to people privy to the talks, de Villiers’ request was “not even considered”.
It is understood that there were two main reasons behind the team management and selectors’ decision. Primarily, de Villiers had retired in May 2018, exactly a year before the World Cup was scheduled. Thereafter, he did not fulfil the selection criteria, which included playing South African domestic cricket or international cricket in the intervening months.
It was also felt that a recall for de Villiers would have been unfair on the players who have been performing in his absence, men such as Rassie van der Dussen, who made three fifties in his first four ODI innings after making his debut against Pakistan in January.
South Africa may now need to win all six of its remaining group fixtures, starting with Monday’s clash against West Indies in Southampton, just to give themselves a chance of reaching the World Cup semi-finals.