Going by how South Africa has been performing poorly in the ongoing Cricket World Cup, AB de Villiers would have been an invaluable addition to the Proteas squad, to put it mildly.
And nobody missed the 35-year-old former cricketer more than when South Africa failed to chase Bangladesh's target of 331, losing the contest by a mere 21 runs at The Oval, London on Sunday.
But a recent revelation that AB could have been a part of the South Africa XI has left star batsman's fans in a state of shock.
According to a report published in ESPNcricinfo, AB de Villiers' offer of making a last-minute entry to the South African squad for the 2019 World Cup was rejected by the South Africa team management.
His request was 'not even considered' as AB hadn't played any cricket; domestic or international, since his retirement announcement in 2018. Also, it'd have been unfair to the other players, who had been consistently performing for the team, the report added.
That he could have potentially been a member of the travelling South African team created a huge buzz on Twitter.
And now, the man himself has responded to his apparent proposal rejection on the microblogging site.
"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," AB wrote on his Twitter page.
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
Earlier, Twitter had expressed a lot of emotions upon learning AB's World Cup snub.
My sincere apologies to AB de Villiers. AB offered to come out of retirement and play in the World Cup but CSA rejected his offer because he hadn’t played international/domestic cricket for SA leading up to it.. CSA are a bunch of morons #ProteaFire pic.twitter.com/Qg7vLPzjOw— Bilal 🇿🇦 (@billz_25) June 6, 2019
AB De Villiers wanted to come out of retirement but South African management rejected the offers as it would be unfair on players who are performing on his absence...— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) June 6, 2019
Several had come out to remind the player of his own words he spoke in a video announcing his retirement on Twitter.
The @OfficialCSA team management begged @ABdeVilliers17 not to retire.— Lungani Zama (@whamzam17) June 6, 2019
Take a sabbatical, skip a few series they said.
Don't use the word retire.
He said he was at peace with his decision.
This u-turn, before @CWC19_ICC came too late.
How do you accommodate that?
"There is no comeback. I’m very very happy with where I’m at in my life. I don’t want to confuse anybody, especially not the (Proteas) team, it will be very selfish and arrogant of me to throw statements around that I’m keen to play a World Cup." - AB de Villiers on 13-11-2018— stuart hess (@shockerhess) June 6, 2019
You can’t blame the players for AB De Villiers retiring a year before #CWC19 but you can blame AB for undermining the #ProteaFire ‘s chances - surely he should know that responsibility to the national cause is the price he should pay for his greatness #ThatsMyPoint— Ashraf Garda (@AshrafGarda) June 6, 2019
The last time AB De Villiers batted against our recent opponents in a World Cup, his score and the result were as follows— Tom Eaton (@TomEatonSA) June 6, 2019
England (2011): 25 - SA lost
Bangladesh (2007): 15 - SA lost
India (2015): 30 - SA lost
Great player, but don't retrospectively ascribe omnipotence.
But guess what? Amidst the shocking revelation and disappointment that has spread like wildfire on social media, cricket fans in India have somehow found humour in the ongoing saga.
When Ab De Villiers approached South Africa Cricket Board— Godman Chikna (@Madan_Chikna) June 6, 2019
i feel for AB de Villiers 😥😢 pic.twitter.com/c1S9vNFtGh— Astronaut 🐒 (@TheRobustRascal) June 6, 2019
Last year, in a video posted on Twitter, the South African ace had announced his decision wherein he said he was ‘tired’ and believed it was time to step down.
“I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. It is time for others to take over. I have had my turn and to be honest I am tired. For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to my teammates, the coaches and the staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years," he said.
Adding that he was out of gas and ready to move on, he said, "It is not about earning more somewhere else, it is about running out of gas and feeling it is time to move on. Everything comes to an end and to cricket fans in South Africa and around the world, thank you very much for your kindness, generosity and your understanding,” he said in the video."