“I have made a big decision today,” de Villiers posted on Twitter along with the video where he talks about his immediate decision. “This is the high performance centre in Pretoria where 14 seasons ago I arrived as a nervous youngster when I was first called into the Proteas squad. Today at the same place, I want to let you know that I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn and to be honest, I am tired. This is a tough decision, I thought long and hard about it and I would like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series against India and Australia, now feels the right time to step aside. It would not be right for me to pick and choose where and when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to my teammates, the coaches and the staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years. It is not about earning more somewhere else, it is about running out of gas and feeling it is time to move on. Everything comes to an end and to cricket fans in South Africa and around the world, thank you very much for your kindness, generosity and your understanding. I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas,” de Villiers said in his retirement address.
AB de Villiers, who debuted for South Africa in 2004 last year, has appeared in more than 114 Test matches scoring 8765 runs at an average of 50.66. He has 22 centuries and 46 half-centuries to his name in cricket’s longest format.
Cricket South Africa released a statement after de Villiers made his decision public on social media. CSA President, Chris Nenzani said: “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. What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his team mates 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. We thank him for the contribution he has made to South African cricket and specifically to make the Standard Bank Proteas world leaders and we wish him and his family everything of the best in his future endeavours.”