In a remarkable last-ditch effort to make a comeback into South Africa's world cup squad, AB de Villiers offered to come out retirement on the eve of the announcement of South Africa's final 15 for the marquee event. However, this was turned down by the management.
As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, de Villiers approached captain Faf du Plessis, coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi, expressing his desire to reverse his retirement, but was told that this would not be possible. According to people privy to the talks, de Villiers' request was "not even considered".
Two primary reasons cited behind the rebuff
The report also mentions that there could be two primary reasons behind this rebuff. AB de Villiers had announced his retirement from international cricket back in May 2018, which was exactly one year before this World Cup. Hence, he did not take part in South African domestic cricket or international cricket in the intervening months which is a mandatory criterion in order to be considered.
Also, the management felt that if de Villiers is indeed recalled, it would be unfair on younger players like Rassie van der Dussen, who made three fifties in his first four ODI innings after making his debut against Pakistan in January.
In the ongoing World Cup, South Africa have got off to a disastrous start as the side lost three successive matches and now need to win all the remaining fixtures to give themselves a chance of staking a claim to qualify for the semi-finals. The batting, in particular, has been woeful and this revelation could add more woes to the camp.
Last year, AB called it quits from international cricket and posted a video in which he said, that he was "tired" and "running out of gas".
"For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing," he said. "I will always be grateful to my team-mates, the coaches and the staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years."
However, his recent exploits with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, in which he scored 442 runs at 44.20 for Royal Challengers Bangalore gave another glimpse of his genius and there were also calls made to include him in South Africa's World Cup squad.