Faf du Plessis reveals why he didn’t convince AB de Villiers to come out of retirement
Du Plessis and de Villiers are very dear friends and their friendship dates back to 1998 when the two shared a hostel room together.
Updated - Sep 8, 2020 4:07 pm
AB de Villiers had shocked the entire cricket fraternity by announcing his decision of taking retirement from the game of cricket in the summer of 2018. The cricketer had called it quits after playing 114 Tests, 228 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 78 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for South Africa. It was a major setback for the South African team who was preparing for their campaign in the 2019 World Cup.
South Africa had dearly missed their star batsman in the World Cup last year as they could not find an appropriate player to fill this huge void. In the absence of the dynamic batsman, the team had finished seventh on the points-table and were the second team after Afghanistan to be eliminated from the competition.
Former South African captain Faf Du Plessis recently appeared on Ravichandran Ashwin’s Youtube show ‘DRS with Ash’ where he opened up on his reaction when AB spoke about his decision of hanging his boots from all the three formats in international cricket.
Du Plessis and de Villiers are very dear friends and their friendship dates back to 1998 when the two shared a hostel room together. Talking to Ashwin, Faf revealed that as a captain he was disheartened and disappointed but the friend in him decided to stand by AB and support him (AB) in whatever decision he takes for his future.
“When AB left, it was really tough for me, because I depended a lot on him, as a friend, and obviously as the best player in the team; we needed his skills,” du Plessis said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“So that conversation was… when he said that to me, said he was done, he was finished with international cricket, as a friend, my first instinct was, ‘I’m here for you, and I’ll support you, if you feel like you’re at the end of your career and you don’t want to do it anymore, then that’s okay – I support that decision 100 per cent’,” he added.
I respected that immediately and left it there: Faf du Plessis
Further in the interaction, the right-handed batsman asserted that even though he and South African cricket needed the services of AB de Villiers desperately at that point in time, the friend in him overshadowed the captain and he decided to support the champion wicketkeeper-batsman in his decision.
“As a captain, I was like – ‘how do we move forward without AB, how do we get the same performances?’ But the friend in me trumped the captain in me. And I just said, ‘We’re going to miss you, are you sure?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I am 100 per cent sure, I don’t want to play international cricket anymore. I don’t have the drive to do it anymore. So I am stopping’
I respected that immediately and left it there. I never ever after that tried to convince him again, because I respected what he said. Even at times when we desperately needed him,” du Plessis said.
Over the past one year, there have been various speculations regarding the veteran’s comeback in international cricket. A controversy had erupted last year where it was revealed that AB had offered the management to come out of his retirement for the World Cup campaign but the authorities had turned it down stating that it won’t be fair on the players who have been working day and night to feature in the country’s World Cup squad.