Cricket

AB de Villiers retires from all forms of cricket, says 'flame no longer burns so brightly'

  • FirstCricket Staff
  • December 17th, 2021
  • 13:58:47 IST

One of the best cricketers of all time AB de Villiers on Friday announced that he will be retiring from all forms of cricket, which he dominated for 17 years with his 360 degree batting.

The 37-year-old cricketer retired from international cricket in 2018 but continued playing T20 franchise cricket. He last played in the IPL 2021 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). His current decision has effectively ended his association with RCB as well.

He took to social to share the news with the world where he said that his enthusiasm "no longer burns so brightly".

"That’s the reality I must accept - and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement today. I’ve had my time. Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me," he wrote.

His post on Instagram was a long and heartfelt goodbye where he talked of his days of yore and ultimately declared why and how he arrived at the decision of retiring.

He thanked his followers for sticking with him through thick and thin and recalled the beginning of his cricket journey, thanks to backyard matches with his brothers.

The RCB connection

De Villiers' IPL team for long, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) recalled his stint with the team. He too expressed his love and affection for the franchise.

Since starting his association with RCB in 2011, he has enjoyed 11 fruitful seasons with the franchise and was its batting mainstay alongside Virat Kohli.

De Villiers has played 156 matches for RCB and scored 4,491 runs. He is the second all-time leading run scorer behind Kohli and holds the second and third-highest individual run total in RCB history with 133 not out against Mumbai Indians (in 2015) and 129 not out against Gujarat Lions (in 2016).

Speaking about his association with the Indian club, de Villiers said, "I have had a long and fruitful time playing for RCB. Eleven years have just whizzed by and leaving the boys is extremely bittersweet."

"It has been a memorable journey with RCB. Have so many memories on the personal front to cherish for the lifetime. RCB will always be very close to me and my family and will continue to support this amazing team. I am a RCBian forever."

"Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time, but after a lot of contemplation, I've decided to hang up my boots and spend quality time with my family. I would like to thank the RCB management, my friend Virat Kohli, teammates, coaches, support staff, fans, and the entire RCB family for showing faith and supporting me all through these years.

RCB chairman Prathmesh Mishra said, "AB de Villiers has been among the best ambassadors of the game, and we are honoured to have him represent RCB in the IPL. His work ethics have been impeccable, which has not only rubbed off on the team, but has left a high benchmark for other youngsters to follow.

"AB has been a true leader, both on and off the field and we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for his tireless commitment in helping RCB establish itself as one of the premier franchises in the IPL.
"We wish AB all the best for his next innings in life. He will always be part of the RCB family."

The franchise said he "will go down as one of the greatest players in the team's illustrious history".

Mr 360's feats over the years

Making his Test debut against England in 2004, de Villiers has been one of the star performers of South Africa.
He has been a 360 degree player in ODIs and T20 Internationals.

The former South African cricketer is regarded as one of the best batters of all time because of his ability to play shots all around the park and that also earned him the nickname Mr 360.

He scored 9,424 runs across 340 T20s. He also played 114 Tests and scored 8,765 runs at an average of 50.66; his highest score was 278 not out and also has 22 centuries against his name.

De Villiers has played 228 ODIs and scored 9577 runs at an impressive average of 53.50. His highest score in ODIs was 176 at an strike rate of 101.09. He has scored 25 centuries in ODIs. He made his ODI debut in 2005 against England.

In 78 T20 internationals, he has scored 1672 runs at an average of 26.12. He made his T20 international debut in 2006 against Australia.

De Villiers thanks all

"Last, I am aware that nothing would have been possible without the sacrifices made by my family my parents, my brothers, my wife Danielle and my children. I look forward to the next chapter of our lives when I can truly put them first."

"I would like to thank every teammate, every opponent, every coach, every physio and every staff member who has travelled the same path, and I am humbled by the support I have received in South Africa, in India, wherever I have played.

"Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Whether playing for the Titans, or the Proteas, or RCB, or around the world, the game has given me unimagined experiences and opportunities, and I will always be grateful.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: December 17, 2021 13:58:47 IST

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