World Cup 2019: Talks only on AB de Villiers episode frustrates South Africa coach Ottis Gibson
Ottis Gibson is not too happy to take questions on de Villiers at a time when his side is facing a stiff challenge.
Updated - Jan 11, 2020 8:18 pm
With South Africa having their worst beginning to a World Cup adventure since their debut in 1992, controversies seem to be undying. The latest report of former international cricketer AB de Villiers having been turned down despite him offering to play in the showpiece event has rocked the cricketing world.
The selectors have said on one hand that accommodating de Villiers in the final squad was difficult in terms of both time and principle but the fans have not been convinced. Meanwhile, a few former cricketers have also expressed their viewpoints on the matter with the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Shaun Pollock not backing de Villiers.
South Africa’s coach Ottis Gibson meanwhile has expressed his wish that the focus goes back to cricket from de Villiers who anyhow is not part of this World Cup. The Proteas have suffered three back-to-back defeats against England, Bangladesh and India and are in a desperate situation of the sort to make a comeback. South Africa will take on the West Indies in their next game on Monday in Southampton and another slip could cost them the trophy.
Gibson, who is a former West Indian all-rounder, is not too happy to take questions on de Villiers at a time when his side is facing a steep challenge. The 50-year-old recently expressed his frustration over the fact that all matters related to South Africa are being about de Villiers.
‘Lot of people wanting AB to be here more than AB himself’
“Are we going to talk about this all the time? Or are we going to prepare for the West Indies game? Feels like its a court case here,” Gibson said during a press conference ahead of the crucial tie.
“Personally I suspect there are a lot of people wanting AB to be here [more] than AB himself. If he wanted to be here he would be here.”
ESPNcricinfo reported earlier this week that de Villiers wanted to come out of his retirement taken in May last year to play the World Cup but it was just a day before the squad was revealed. The team management did not agree to take de Villiers, who still has a few years of cricket left in him since he hadn’t played domestic or international cricket in the run-up to the mega tournament. The selectors also felt that picking de Villiers would have been an injustice to other players who have done the hard work to get picked for the side.
“I can’t recall in recent history a team picking a guy that’s retired,” Gibson further said on the de Villiers episode, adding: “Nobody’s shaken up, nobody’s died or anything… When we played in South Africa we won eight of the last 10 games… You guys [the media] weren’t asking those questions then.” He said only those players representing SA in this World Cup can help them reach the semi-finals and not de Villiers.