AB de Villiers wanted to retire from Tests earlier but CSA 'persuaded him to stay on', says Jonty Rhodes

Former South Africa player Jonty Rhodes has claimed that AB de Villiers wanted to retire from Test cricket in 2016 but Cricket South Africa persuaded him to stay on.

FP Sports, Aug,10 2017

The South African cricket team is going through a tough phase of late. The Faf du Plessis-led side finished their three-month tour of England on Monday and lost the Test series 1-3 against England. Prior to that, the Proteas crashed out of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, continuing their barren run in global tournaments.

The consolatory victory in the third ODI, a convincing one, against England at Lord's in May 2017 might have done a world of good for their confidence, but even a layman would say that South African cricket is in a bit of crisis currently.

File image of AB de Villiers. Reuters

File image of AB de Villiers. Reuters

And it seems that the absence of AB de Villiers from the Test team is hurting them badly. De Villiers last featured in the longest format in January 2016, since then he has missed series against New Zealand twice (home and away), Australia and Sri Lanka. The Proteas' limited-overs captain has taken a sabbatical from Tests and chosen to focus on the 2019 World Cup. That decision, however, has not gone down well with many former players.

Even du Plessis urged his team to 'move on' and accept that de Villiers will not return to the Test side. The debate has raged on and it almost seems that it's a case of when and not if de Villiers will retire. Amidst the uncertainty and the extra attention around the Proteas' ODI captain's future, former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes has revealed that de Villiers' career would have been over last year but for CSA's intervention.

"I think he wanted to retire a while back from Test cricket, but Cricket South Africa persuaded him to stay on. Before 2016, he was talking to people about his Test future," Rhodes told the Times of India.

He also hinted that South Africans have not yet accepted the concept of Indian Premier League properly, "In SA, people are critical because they don't see the IPL mechanism. They think cricketers are trying to make as much money as possible and it's often at the expense of national call-ups."

Other than de Villiers, South Africa have to find an opening partner for Dean Elgar as Heino Kuhn failed to make the most of his opportunities against Joe Root's men. They also have to fill the No 4 void after sending JP Duminy back home midway through the tour. If reports are to be believed, national head coach Russell Domingo is all set to be replaced by Ottis Gibson, who is currently the bowling coach of England.

Published Date: Aug 10, 2017 | Updated Date: Aug 10, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 4484 115
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4374 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 7594 122
2 South Africa 6911 117
3 England 6871 116
4 New Zealand 6550 115
5 Australia 6376 112
6 Pakistan 4877 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3272 126
2 Australia 2345 123
3 India 3385 121
4 New Zealand 2878 120
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112