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Will Keep Playing IPL for a Few Years, AB de Villiers Assures Fans

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: July 10, 2018, 6:33 PM IST
Will Keep Playing IPL for a Few Years, AB de Villiers Assures Fans

AB De Villiers . (BCCI Image)

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After he shocked the cricketing fraternity in May by announcing his international retirement, AB de Villiers has comforted his fans by confirming he will continue to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). At the time of calling it a day, de Villiers had said, "I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket."

However, in an interview to iol.co.za, de Villiers clarified those comments, assuring that he will play in the IPL for a few years at least.

"I will keep on playing IPL for a few years, and I would like to play for the Titans, and help some of the youngsters. But there are no set plans. I haven't been able to say that for a long time," he said.

"There are some offers on the table from around the world, but it will be nice to wake up and wonder what to do; to be normal. Bangalore is a special place, a second home, really. I played my 100th Test there, and obviously, RCB is a massive part of my life. India as a country has taken me in, and it's hard to explain what that feels like. I just play cricket."

It was widely expected that de Villiers would continue to play till the 2019 World Cup, but he explained why he chose not to.

"For a long time, the World Cup was a massive goal,” he said. “But, in the last few years, I have realised that it isn't realistic to measure yourself purely on what you achieve in that tournament. That will not be the be-all and end-all of my career.

"Yes, I would have loved to win it, but I have great memories from World Cups. The 2007 tournament - my first - was very special. We fell short against Australia when we tried to play too much cricket too soon, but that shift in mentality probably helped us to go over there and win the Test series we then won over there. Personally, I scored my first ODI century in that 2007 tournament, and I loved the whole experience of being in the Caribbean.

"The same goes for the others, in 2011 and in 2015. India has always been close to my heart, because of the passion for cricket, and then obviously 2015 was an amazing game."

South Africa, who were one of the pre-tournament favourites lost the semi-final to co-hosts New Zealand.

De Villiers, the backbone of the Proteas batting line-up for a number of years announced his exit from the game after starring in Test series wins over India and Australia and said that in hindsight, it was the best farewell possible.

"It was the best possible way to finish, against two great teams, in the best format of the game,” he said. “There was a lot of motivation for me to do well, and for the team to do well. Series like that don't come around too often.

"I love all the formats, and T20 is a lot of fun. It has brought in a new audience, and it has definitely changed our lives as players financially. But the ultimate format is still Test cricket."
First Published: July 10, 2018, 6:24 PM IST
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