South Africa have lost all three matches they have played so far in the World Cup. Lungi Ndigi is injured, Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the World Cup. South Africa’s bowling line up is perhaps lacking teeth even as Hashim Amla to is not looking as effective after Jofra Archer’s ball hit on his helmet in the World Cup opener. The Proteas, surely, has been off to a worst possible start to a World Cup and just when they would want things to their way, one more controversy has popped up at their door which perhaps would do nothing but spread more negativity in the dugout.
According to report on ESPN Cricinfo, AB De Villiers who announced his retirement in May 2018, showed his interest in playing 2019 World Cup but his proposal was rejected by the selection panel and the South African batsman wasn’t included in South Africa’s 15-man squad for the World Cup.
As per the statement was given by the convener of South Africa’s National Selection Panel Committee, Linda Zondi said that AB De Villiers offered to play for the National side on the day of selection and by then the squad was finalized and confirmed.
“I pleaded with AB de Villiers not to retire in 2018. Although there was a perception that he was picking and choosing when to play [for South Africa] – which was not true – I did give him the option to plan and monitor his season to get him to the World Cup fresh and in a good space. We made it clear that he would have to play during the home tours against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to be considered for selection, instead, he signed to play in the Pakistan and Bangladesh Premier Leagues respectively. He turned down the offer and said he was at peace with his decision to retire.”
The official also said that AB is one of the best players in the world but added that it was also important to stick to the morals and principles and there was no regret in the decision that the panel had made on the batsman.
“For Faf du Plessis and Ottis Gibson to share AB’s desire to be included in the squad on the day, we announced our World Cup squad on April 18th was a shock to all of us. AB left a big vacuum when he retired, we had a year to find players at franchise level to fill the gap. We had players who put in the hard work, who put up their hands and deserved to be given the opportunity to go to the World Cup. The decision was based on principle; we had to be fair to the team, the selection panel, our franchise system, and players,” the convenor said.
“At no point in the year that he had retired did he make himself available for selection. It was no option when I received the news on the day of the squad announcement, our squad was finalized and confirmed. AB is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, but above all else, we have to stay true to our morals and principles, there is no regret in the decision.”
Later on Thursday, AB De Villiers, in a bid, to end the controversy took to Twitter to urge everyone to focus rather more important thing, i.e, to support South African team at the World Cup.
All that’s important is that we should all focus on supporting the team at the World Cup. There is a long way to go and I believe the boys can still go all the way #ProteaFire
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) June 6, 2019
South Africa are currently languishing at the bottom of the points table with three losses in three matches. They will play their fourth match against West Indies on Monday, June 10.