AB de Villiers: Cricket South Africa has shown desire to involve me in Proteas setup

AB De Villiers has been linked to South Africa's T20 plans since Mark Boucher took over the job as head coach in December last year.

AB de Villiers during a media interaction.   -  Getty Images

AB De Villiers has been linked to South Africa's T20 plans since Mark Boucher took over the job as head coach in December last year. He was not included in South Africa's T20I squads to play England or Australia in February, and indications were that de Villiers would be considered for fixtures after the IPL. And despite most international fixtures and the IPL being in doubt, due to the coronavirus pandemic, de Villiers maintains the desire to play for South Africa again.

"What I can share with you guys is that the desire is there from my side. The desire to get me involved with the Proteas has been shown by Cricket South Africa as well. With Mark Boucher as coach and Graeme Smith as director, they are keen to get me involved, which is very pleasing to hear. I hope everything works out and there are a few things that need to fall in place," de Villiers told Star Sports.

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"The most important thing to me is I have to be in tiptop form and I have to be better than the player next to me. If I deserve a spot in the side, it becomes easy for me to feel like I deserve to be in the side and I have earned my spot. I have not been in the Proteas side for a while and I think that it is important for myself and for other people as well to see if I am still good enough to play for them," he added.

de Villiers revealed that he had been in discussion with Boucher during the Mzansi Super League in South Africa. "We had a lot of fun with the Tshwane Spartans, the team that I played for. With Boucher as coach, I really enjoyed my time there. Boucher is a born leader, he is a natural leader. He asked me 'where does this comes from and why do you have so much energy and why do you love the game so much. Doesn’t it mean you have a story to tell at the international level?'

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"I told him I have never closed that book. I always wanted to play. I had some obstacles to cover in last three-four years from a personal point of view. I always loved playing cricket and always loved hitting the cricket ball. There were a lot of other factors involved in me not contributing to the game as much as I should have."

The 36-year-old swashbuckler, a fan favourite for his innovative strokeplay and power-hitting, had announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket in 2018. One of the most destructive batsmen to have played the game, de Villiers featured in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, averaging over 50 in both the Tests and ODIs. de Villiers said playing for Tshwane Spartans had helped him focus on his cricket again. "Playing for his [Boucher] team, there were no admin (administration) issues like that at all from the outside point of view. All I could do is focus on my cricket. I really enjoyed my time, especially with the young players. Sharing my experiences with them, I truly felt I had a purpose and a big role to play in the team. So hopefully I can have that role again moving forward and who knows, it will be for Proteas under Boucher as coach. As I said before, if everything falls in place, I will get that opportunity again."

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