Even as the world is engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic, a burning question in every cricket fanatic’s mind is whether AB de Villiers will indeed come out of retirement and represent the country in the World T20 that is slated to be played in Australia later in the year. While there have been quite a few opinions on the matter, the former South Africa skipper is keen to follow the ‘wait and watch’ policy rather than making a statement.
Speaking to IANS, de Villiers said that he is taking things slowly, he will assess the situation only after playing the Indian Premier League and check what is possible and what isn’t.
“Let’s wait and see what happens. My focus is on the Indian Premier League at the moment, and helping Royal Challengers Bangalore realise our full potential. Then we will sit down and have a look at the rest of the year and see what is possible,” he explained.
The fate of the 13th edition of the IPL though hangs in balance due to the coronavirus outbreak. And while the BCCI and the IPL franchises are keeping no stones unturned to ensure that the tournament is played, it will all depend on the calls taken by the Indian government and the health department.
de Villiers surprised the cricketing world by announcing his retirement in May 2018 and while he did say back then that he wanted to leave while still playing decent cricket, a point he also strictly maintained was how he was tired thanks to the hectic cricketing calendar. And that is something that even the likes of Virat Kohli have raised in recent times.
While the South African feels that workload management is a personal call, he does believe that the mental and physical demand on the top stars is massive thanks to the non-stop cricket action.
“Each player must consider his own circumstances and make his own decision. I reached a point where I wanted to see more of my wife and two young sons, and seek a reasonable balance between family and cricket. The mental and physical demands on the leading players are massive these days, but each player must decide what he can and can’t do,” he pointed.
While de Villiers did quit international cricket, he has continued to play in T20 leagues across the globe and the kind of fitness he has shown at 36 can put even youngsters to shame. But for the former national-team captain, it is all about discipline.
“Discipline is the key. Eating right and regular exercise are extremely important. It becomes a habit. Eat healthy, have a healthy lifestyle, and it’s not difficult at all,” he signed off.
First Published: Wed, March 18 2020. 15:33 IST