Faf du Plessis draws former South Africa players' ire for indulging AB de Villers on Test unavailability

After returning from a 1-3 Test series defeat to England, South Africa Test skipper Faf du Plessis declared that de Villiers had "earned the right to do whatever he wants to".

FP Sports, Aug, 12 2017

The continuing absence of AB de Villiers in the South African Test team has triggered a Twitter war among former Proteas cricketers.

After returning from a 1-3 Test series defeat to England, South Africa Test skipper Faf du Plessis, in an interview with Sports24, declared that de Villiers had "earned the right to do whatever he wants to" in regards to his playing future.

"He's played 100 Test matches, 12 years of cricket away from home, he's done everything that there is to do in a South African shirt apart from winning a World Cup," said du Plessis.

Soon, former Prot eas batsman Herschelle Gibbs took to Twitter to criticise both the players. Gibbs posted a screenshot of the article, condemning du Plessis for "putting a player on a pedestal" before adding that Jacques Kallis achieved more than de Villiers ever did but said the star all-rounder "never disrespected the game".

A deluge of comments followed with many South African players, former and current, joining in. Former South African batsman Ashwell Prince endorsed Gibbs's view and wondered if Hashim Amla would be allowed a similar break from the game.

Former spinners Paul Harris and Simon Harmer weighed in with their thoughts too. Harris advised Prince and Gibbs to call de Villiers rather than chastise him on Twitter while off-spinner Harmer remarked that someone needed to get "the chip off" Prince's shoulder.

AB de Villiers took part in the ODIs and T20Is that preceded that four-Test series on South Africa's England tour. After the T20I series against England, de Villiers said he would meet with Cricket South Africa in August to decide his playing future.

With several players, who might have been in the Test squad, having taken the 'Kolpak' route to play for English counties, the importance of AB de Villiers to the South African team had increased manifold. Fast bowler Dale Steyn had already been ruled out and seamer Vernon Philander struggled with fitness throughout the series.

However, de Villiers opted out of what was the centrepiece of a four-month tour to take a break from the strain of being one of the world's leading bastman in all three international formats.

When he was asked what he planned to do for the next couple of months, de Villiers said: "I am going to spend a bit of time off at home with the family, I’m going to welcome my new youngster into the world, and obviously look to stay fit.

He insisted he wanted to make sure he was ready when Bangladesh tour South Africa in September.

For all his success at the Test level, de Villiers still has a burning ambition to help the Proteas register their maiden World Cup title.

The next World Cup takes place in England in two years' time, and de Villiers, who was in charge of the South African team during a heartbreaking semi-final loss to co-hosts New Zealand at Auckland in 2015, reaffirmed: "It’s my main dream to win a World Cup for South Africa, or to be part of it in one way or another."

With inputs from AFP.

Published Date: Aug 12, 2017 | Updated Date: Aug 12, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3767 111
3 England 4497 105
4 New Zealand 3114 97
5 Australia 3294 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6244 120
2 India 5993 120
3 Australia 5948 114
4 England 6156 114
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
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4 England 2029 119
5 India 2488 118