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‘Have been asked by Cricket South Africa to lead the Proteas again’ – AB de Villiers

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read
Star published a transcript of the De Villiers interview after De Villiers contested the quotes initially reported by PTI

AB de Villiers has revealed that Cricket South Africa asked him to “lead the national side again” and that he wants to return to international cricket, but said he wants to ensure he is in top form before making the commitment.

De Villiers announced his retirement from all forms in 2018, but talk of a comeback has always been on since then, especially since he revealed he would be keen to do so. Since the management change in South Africa, with Graeme Smith as director of cricket, and Mark Boucher as coach, prospects of his return have only increased.

“The desire is there from my side to play for South Africa, and have been asked by Cricket South Africa to lead the Proteas again,” de Villiers was quoted as saying on Star Sports Cricket Connected.

“The most important thing to me is that I have got to be in top form, and I have got to be better than the player next to me. If I feel I deserve my spot in the side, it becomes much easier for me to feel that I should be part of the playing XI.

“I have not been part of the Proteas for a while, and I feel that it’s important for myself and for other people to see that I am still good enough to be there.”

Earlier this month, de Villiers had said he was hesitant to give a definite answer regarding his wishes, because he had been “very hurt and burned in the past”, referring to the instance around the World Cup 2019 when it was reported that he’d offered to return to the team before the tournament, which attracted widespread criticism.

“I can’t see six months into the future,” de Villiers had told Rapport. “If the tournament is postponed to next year, a whole lot of things will change. At the moment, I feel available, but at the same time, I don’t know how my body will see it, and if I will be healthy at that time. If I am 100% as good as I want to be, then I will be available.”

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