Johannesburg: South Africa’s big-hitting batsman AB de Villiers on Wednesday stepped down as captain of the Proteas ODI team with immediate effect, but stated that he will continue to play all three formats.
De Villiers, who last played a Test match in January 2016, had earlier set his sights on the ICC World Cup 2019.
Leading South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy two months back, the explosive batsman had a tournament to forget, after his team got knocked out following an eight-wicket loss to eventual runners-up India, thereby extending their wait for a major ICC trophy since 1998.
“A lot has been said and written over the past 12 months, and I feel it is time to make my position absolutely clear.
"Over the past year or so, I have tried to manage many commitments. I have felt mentally and physically tired; my wife and I are bringing up two fantastic kids and playing in all three formats ever since 2004 has taken its toll,” said De Villiers, in a video uploaded by him on Twitter.
“It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for someone else to take the ODI side forward. Whoever is chosen as the new ODI captain will have my complete support,” he added.
He credited Faf du Plessis for being an outstanding captain. “Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the T20 and Test teams, and bearing this in mind, I have informed Cricket South Africa that I would like to step down as captain of the ODI team,” he commented.
He also shared his eagerness to keep on playing for South Africa, despite giving up captaincy. “I want to get back on the field and I have today assured the national selectors that I will be available for selection in all three formats of the game during the coming season.
“There is plenty of hard work ahead in the nets and I must prepare properly, but I will be ready to play, if required, from the middle of October onwards,” the 33-year-old stated....