There was a huge furore earlier this year when it emerged after South Africa’s dismal 2019 World Cup campaign, that the management had rejected Ab de Villiers’ last minute offer to be part of the squad.
The reason for turning down their star player was that he didn’t play any domestic or international cricket prior to the tournament and that his inclusion wouldn’t have been fair on other players who had been performing well for the Proteas.
So, with the ICC T20 World Cup set to be played in Australia next October, it does look like South Africa have learnt from their earlier mistakes. Captain Faf du Plessis has confirmed that talks are on with Ab de Villiers to persuade him out of retirement and make himself available for the premier tournament.
“People want AB to play and I am no different,” du Plessis said after his Paarl Rocks team were crowned MSL champions on Monday. “Those conversations have been happening for two or three months already: what does it look like, how does it look over the next year, and that’s where it starts.”
AB de Villiers, who played for the Tshawne Spartans, was the third-highest scorer at the MSL 2019 with 325 runs in nine matches at 46.42, scoring four half-centuries.
South Africa’s T20I schedule before the World Cup includes three matches against England and three against Australia in February and finally three games in the Caribbean against West Indies. While de Villiers may not be part of all the games in these series due to the IPL, he needs to be involved in a few of these games in order to remain match-fit for the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa has endured a tough couple of months and are looking to revamp their set up. Former captain Graeme Smith was appointed the director of cricket and Mark Boucher was named the head coach of the national side last week.
The latest development is that Charl Langaveldt has resigned his position as the bowling coach of the Bangladesh cricket team to join Boucher’s coaching staff.
South Africa’s next assignment is a home series against England, consisting of four Tests, three ODIs and as many T20Is, beginning with the Boxing Day Test. They recently named the Test squad for the series which included as many as six uncapped players. (Courtesy sport360)