South Africa legend announces retirement from interntional cricket

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers has made the surprise decision to retire from international cricket with immediate effect.

With 420 appearances for the Proteas across all formats, the veteran conceded he felt it ‘was the right time’ to hang up his boots.

The 34-year-old confirmed in a lengthy statement: “I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect.

“After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI’s and 78 T20 Internationals, 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 have thought long and hard about it and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.

“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the Green and Gold, it must be everything or nothing.

“I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years.

“The most important thank you goes out to all of my team mates throughout my career, I wouldn’t be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years.”

Currently on duty in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore, the man who has struck the fastest international century of all time said his decision to retire was not motivated by a pursuit of riches and that was was still devoted to his good friend Faf du Plessis and the South Africa national team.

“It’s not about earning more somewhere else,” de Villiers insisted, “it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end.

“To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for 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.”

With 14 years on the international circuit playing alongside the likes of Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, and Graeme Smith, de Villiers has the honour of captaining South Africa in all formats and 47 hundreds in Tests and ODIs.

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