South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis on Monday revealed that former Proteas captain AB de Villiers had given him a call the night before the World Cup squad selection to tell him that he is willing to come out of retirement to help the team in the upcoming tournament.
Speaking to reporters at the press conference after the rain washed out the tie against West Indies, the 34-year-old said: "It was just a conversation, a phone call the night before the team got announced. It was just a 'this is what I'm feeling' [phone call]."
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Faf further added that he told his friend that it might be too late to change the selectors' mind since the squad was already decided. "I said to him, 'I think it is too late but I will check in with the coach and the selectors the next morning.' When I spoke to the coach and the selectors, they all agreed that it was way, way too late to change the team on 99.99 per cent," he said.
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After suffering three straight defeats in the ongoing World Cup, de Viliers offered to come out of retirement and join the squad, but his requests were denied by South Africa Cricket Board. Addressing the same, du Plessis said: "We do feel like the news came in and went through the team. It didn't have a huge impact. There was just a discussion on clarity and on making sure everyone knows what's going on and then it was moving on."
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"The team was happy to get on with business. But it is stuff like that, generally, that can give you direction in your team and give you purpose to focus on what lies ahead," he added.
Speaking on his friendship with de Villiers, du Plessis said: "AB and I are still friends. This incident has not changed that. This is a small thing for a friendship that goes so way back."