In what will be a big boost for South Africa cricket team and fans, retired star AB de Villiers has said he would be interested in making an international comeback with an eye on October’s T20 World Cup in Australia. The batsmen was talking after making his debut in Australia’s Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat.
The 35-year-old, who retired from the game in 2018, said he is in talks with the new management at Cricket South Africa about a potential return but didn’t offer any guarantees.
“I would love to. I’ve been talking to ‘Bouch’ [South Africa coach Mark Boucher], Graeme Smith [director of cricket] and Faf [du Plessis] back home, we’re all keen to make it happen,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“It’s a long way away still, and plenty can happen – there’s the IPL coming up, I’ve still got to be in form at that time. So I’m thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out,” he added, after scoring 40 from 32 balls in Brisbane Heat’s seven-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba.
“It’s not a guarantee, once again. I don’t want to disappoint myself or other people, so, for now, I’m just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year.”
The move is prompted by the massive change in the administration of the CSA. The appointment of former captain Graeme Smith as director of cricket and Mark Boucher as head coach after a period of upheaval in the local game is a welcome change for many players.
“There are a lot of players [involved with CSA] who I used to play with,” he continued. “Guys who understand the game, leaders of the team for many years.
“So it’s much easier to communicate than what it used to be in the past. They understand what players go through – especially players that have played for 15 years internationally,” de Villiers said.
Earlier, newly appointed South Africa cricket team coach Boucher hinted that he would try to talk former skipper de Villiers out of retirement as the team prepares for the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
De Villiers retired from all forms of cricket in May 2018 citing heavy workload and need for personal time with the family. But Boucher, who is rebuilding the South Africa squad after an administrative turmoil, was hoping to get him back.