Mumbai: Star Batsman AB de Villiers has ended speculation about his Test future. Speaking to South African radio station 702 the versatile batsman said, “I’m not retiring out of test cricket. I’m not retiring out of any format, that’s for sure.”
One of the finest batsmen of the present generation, de Villiers, who has made himself unavailable for the upcoming series against New Zealand as he continues to recover from an elbow injury, revealed that his main aim is to play in the 2019 cricket world cup.
"My main aim is to get to that 2019 World Cup and I am going to do everything possible to get there. It's important to play the other formats but mentally and physically I need to be in a good space come the 2019 World Cup and that's what I am aiming for. I know it’s still a long way away and it's all about managing that really well in order for me to get there.
"I am going to have to make certain choices. It's not easy for me. I have always been the go-ahead guy, the team man, who never wants to miss a game for South Africa. But (with) the schedules these days, it's really tough to play all formats, especially at the age of 32, when most cricketers don't go past the age of 35. If you do the math, it takes to me to 2019, 2020 at the most. Hopefully by then I will still be fit and be there to lift the trophy with the boys."
Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat is not at all surprised by de Villiers' comments.
"We've given him the latitude of taking time off, of setting himself for the 2019 World Cup. It is very much part of our planning,” Loragt was quoted as saying by Espncricinfo.com.
"We know its challenging schedules that all of the players have. What I think is, he is not going to get another opportunity like he currently has with time off. To put it in this fashion - the most he must make of it now (sic), once he gets back on the treadmill it is all the way through to 2019."
Cricket South Africa and Lorgat are confident that de Villiers would be available for the Test series in England this summer.
"What we're doing is taking it a series at a time. I am confident that by the time we get towards looking at England and the Champions Trophy, he'll be fully fit and raring to go. His appetite would have returned because then it would be a fair amount of time he has had. I'm confident England is kind of a series that he would want to be available for."...