De Villiers sought World Cup 2019 return, Cricket South Africa management refused to oblige

Star batsman A.B. de Villiers wanted to come out of retirement for World Cup 2019, but the South Africa management thought it would be unfair to players who were performing well.

De Villiers' request was not entertained by the South Africa management.   -  Getty Images

South Africa's star batsman A.B. de Villiers wanted to come out of retirement for the World Cup but his last-ditch offer was rejected by South Africa’s team management on the eve of the squad announcement, a media report has claimed.

According to ESPNCricinfo, de Villiers made this offer in April, barely 24 hours before the final squad for this ongoing showpiece in the UK was to be announced by Cricket South Africa.

The revelation comes amid a disastrous start to South Africa’s World Cup campaign, which has seen it losing its first three matches to England, Bangladesh and India, leaving the Proteas with the task of winning all six of its remaining league fixtures, to keep the prospect of reaching the semifinals alive.

READ | How CSA let de Villiers down

While Wednesday’s six-wicket defeat to India turned the situation from bad to worse, the loss of pace great Dale Steyn to a shoulder injury has also considerably weakened the team.

The website claimed that de Villiers approached South Africa’s captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi, expressing his desire to come out of international retirement, but the offer was not entertained by the trio.

READ | Cricket South Africa reacts to De Villiers comeback controversy

Retirement in 2018, exactly a year before the World Cup, meant De Villiers could not fulfil the selection criteria, which included playing domestic or international cricket in the intervening months.

The report stated that the collective view of those sought out by De Villiers was that recalling the dashing batsman at the last moment would have been unfair on the players who have been performing in his absence, such as Rassie van der Dussen.