Told AB de Villiers it was too late when he approached for World Cup return, says Faf du Plessis

Told AB de Villiers it was too late when he approached for World Cup return, says Faf du Plessis

The ABD episode left the cricketing world deeply divided, especially after the Proteas’ awful opening performance in the World Cup.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

The South African cricket team is facing a lot of uncomfortable questions ever since the controversy involving the name of AB de Villiers has come to the fore. It was revealed in a recent report that the 35-year-old dashing batsman wanted to be a part of the South African squad for World Cup 2019 but his appeal was turned down by the team management.

According to the management, de Villiers’ offer came far too late as the final squad had already been picked and that his inclusion would have been against the rules and principles for he did not play international or domestic cricket since May 2018 when he took the call.

The ABD episode left the cricketing world deeply divided, especially after the Proteas’ awful opening performance in the World Cup in which they lost their first three games. Faf du Plessis’ men lost to England by 104 runs; to Bangladesh by 21 runs and to India by 6 wickets to enter the danger zone. Their situation got worse on Monday after their match with the West Indies in Southampton was washed out.

SA now have a solitary point from four games and even wins in all the remaining games might not guarantee them a place in the semi-finals.

Faf du Plessis checked with selectors to find that time has run out

Faf du Plessis faced questions on the de Villiers issue while appearing at the press conference after Monday’s wash-out. “He didn’t come to me. It’s just a conversation, a phone call the night before the team was announced. I think it’s too late,” the South African captain was quoted as saying about the incident. He said he told de Villiers that he would check with the selectors the next morning and later, he came to realise that it was indeed too late for AB de Villiers to make a comeback.

De Villiers, who was the captain of the South African team in the last World Cup in 2015 and led them to the semi-finals, said he was tired when taking the retirement call last year and despite requests from the selectors, didn’t agree to reconsider his decision.

Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar recently lashed out at de Villiers saying he chose money over the country.