AB de Villiers says Gary Kirsten approach of making him team skipper came as a surprise

AB de Villiers led South Africa in 103 ODIs with a win percentage of 60.10%.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

AB de Villiers was the latest high-profile name to feature on highly popular chat show Breakfast with Champions, hosted by Gaurav Kapur. Unsurprisingly, the episode lived up to the expectations as de Villiers opened up on some of the unknown secrets of his life. One of those was how former South Africa coach Gary Kirsten persuaded him to take the captaincy of the national team soon after the 2011 World Cup. Kirsten had guided India to the World Cup glory in 2011 before being appointed the Proteas head coach.

After the 2011 World Cup, Graeme Smith had stepped down as captain and Kirsten felt de Villiers was the right man to lead the team. The former South Africa star opened up on the moment when Kirsten approached him and asked him to take the role.  Calling the moment unforgettable, de Villiers said the conversation took place on a walk in New Zealand.


“Yeah. He made me the captain of the team. I’ll never forget the walk-in Wellington, New Zealand,” recalled De Villiers before opening up more on the moment.” He called me and said, “I need to see you.” And then we took a stroll to the harbour. And on the way, he said, “I want you to be the captain of this team.” I’ll never forget that moment.

“I’m like, “Gary, are you serious?” He said, “Yeah. You’re ready.” “It’ll take some knocks. You’ll have to learn quickly. But I think you’re the captain.” This is something I’ll never forget.  But he’s always had a way of doing things in a certain manner, you know? Quite emotional,” added De Villiers.

AB de Villiers as captain

One of the greatest batsmen of all time to have played for South Africa, De Villiers led South Africa in 103 ODIs with a win percentage of 60.10%. The finest moment of his captaincy career came when he led the Proteas to the semifinal in the World Cup 2015. The right-handed batsman, who retired from the game last year, stepped down as captain in 2017.

Here is the video of de Villiers featuring on Breakfast with Champions: