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 16:15:38 IST

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.

Updated Date: Aug 12, 2017 16:31:43 IST

World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 7 6 1 0 12
New Zealand 6 5 0 1 11
India 5 4 0 1 9
England 7 4 3 0 8
Bangladesh 7 3 3 1 7
Sri Lanka 6 2 2 2 6
Pakistan 6 2 3 1 5
West Indies 6 1 4 1 3
South Africa 7 1 5 1 3
Afghanistan 7 0 7 0 0

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254