Kohli, Yuvraj Lend Support to 'Brother' AB de Villiers After Ace Protean Batsman Clears Air on Controversy
As AB de Villiers clarified his stance, Virat Kohli called his IPL teammate 'the most honest and committed man' he knows. Yuvraj Singh also chimed in with his own response.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers celebrate during an IPL match. (Image: BCCI)
New Delhi: Soon after AB de Villiers broke his silence on the ugly drama that transpired on his offer to return to international cricket, ace Indian batsmen Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh lent their support to the stellar South African cricketer.
As the South African batsman clarified his stance on social media, Indian captain Virat Kohli was quick to post a comment calling his IPL teammate “the most honest and committed man” he knows. Yuvraj Singh also chimed in with his own response.
de Villiers, who had announced his retirement on May 18, was recently involved in a controversy after he allegedly wished to re-enter the Proteas’ squad ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The South African batsman had abstained from commenting on the rumours until his team was knocked out of the World Cup in the group stage. However, he did clear the air on social media on Friday.
“First, I announced my retirement from international cricket in May 2018 because I wanted to reduce my workload and spend more time with my wife and young sons. Some have insisted I was motivated purely by money. They are wrong. In truth, I have turned down many lucrative offers to play around the world, and have cut the time spent away from home each year from eight months to just over three months,” de Villiers wrote in the statement.
"During the weeks and months that followed, there was no formal contact between Cricket South Africa or the Proteas and me. I didn't call them, and they didn't call me. I had made my decision and the Proteas moved on, enjoying success under the expert guidance of coach Ottis Gibson and the outstanding captaincy of Faf du Plessis.
"Faf and I have been friends since we were at school together and, two days before the World Cup squad was announced, I contacted him for a chat. I had been in decent form during the Indian Premier League and casually repeated what I had said when asked a year earlier, that I was available if required... but only if required.
"I made absolutely no demands at all. I certainly did not try to force my way into the World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament, and did not expect to be included. There was no burning issue from my side, and no sense of injustice,” the statement added.
In a heart-warming gesture, Kohli and Singh said that the decision to exclude de Villiers from the South African team is the “country’s loss”.
“My brother you are the most honest and committed man I know. It’s been unfortunate to see this happen to you. But know that we stand with you and believe in you. Seing people enter your personal space has been sad to see and uncalled for.More love and power to you and your beautiful family. Me and anushka are Always here for you guys (SIC),” Kohli’s comment read.
“My dear friend and legend, your one of the nicest guys iv ever played cricket with an absolute gem of a person ! There was never a chance for s a in this World Cup to win without you ! It is your country’s loss no to have you in the squad not yours . The bigger the player more the criticism! We all know what a gentleman you are. #respect (SIC),” Yuvraj Singh wrote.
de Villiers also revealed that he did not speak out immediately after the news broke was because he did not want to distract South Africa's World Cup campaign. He released a statement after all the criticism that followed.
Despite the ‘unpleasant and unnecessary saga’, de Villiers said he would always continue to support South African cricket.
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