South Africa star batsman AB de Villiers caught the cricketing world by surprise when he announced his decision to end his international career, bringing to an abrupt halt his 14-year run with the Proteas.
De Villiers, who was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team that bowed out of the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), posted a video on his official Twitter account to make the announcement one year before what could've been his fourth World Cup appearance.
I’ve made a big decision today pic.twitter.com/In0jyquPOK
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) May 23, 2018
"I want to let you know that I've decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. After 114 Test matches, 228 one-day internationals, 78 T20 internationals, it is time for others to take over. I've had my turn, and to be honest, I'm tired," de Villiers said in the video.
De Villiers, who had gone through the rigours of captaincy for some time before Faf du Plessis took over the responsibility, ends his career with more than 20,000 international runs, falling short of the 10,000 mark in ODIs by a mere 423 runs.
His last assignments for the Proteas were in the home series against India and Australia. 'Mr 360', as he affectionately came to be known in the latter half of his career due to his outrageous strokeplay all over the ground, played a vital role with the bat in the team's series wins in the Test legs of the two tours.
"This is a tough decision. I've thought long and hard about it, and I'd like to retire while still playing decent cricket. And after the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels the right time to step aside," added de Villiers.
De Villiers, considered one of the most innovative and destructive batsmen of all time, currently holds the record for the fastest ODI ton (31 balls vs West Indies, 2015). Aside from hit batting abilities, de Villiers made a name for himself as an outstanding fielder.
The 34-year-old made his debut for South Africa in the 2004-05 home series against England, which also the debut of long-time teammate and pace spearhead Dale Steyn.