He is one of the modern legends of the game, acclaimed and loved world over and considered among all-time greats of cricket. But all the adulation and monikers sit lightly on AB de Villiers, who insists he is at peace despite being part of some of the best South African sides ever to not win the World Cup.

And with the 2019 edition starting next month, ABD – as he is known – is looking forward to watching the games with no desire to be in the middle. “I look back at my decision (to retire) last year with 100 percent satisfaction. It would have been nice to play the World Cup again I am very happy where I am at the moment. There is no regret,” de Villiers said in an exclusive interaction with Sportstar here on Saturday.

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So who would be his picks this time around? De Villiers was unwilling to put his money on any particular team or player. “It is very difficult to pick a favourite, I think there are a lot of teams capable and that makes it a very open tournament. India have won the Champions Trophy in England, Pakistan won the last one there, Australia have won a lot of World Cups, England are their own team, New Zealand always do well at World Cups, South Africa have a very good bowling attack -- that's six teams already that I feel can win! I am simply looking forward to watching some amazing games through the tournament,” he laughed during the launch of a limited edition, ABD-signed Mont Blanc luggage trolley that would be auctioned for charity.


ABD's ability to play all around the ground has given him the '360 degree' batsman tag.


Nicknamed the '360 degree' man for his ability to play a wide range of shots all around the ground, it is not something De Villiers is bothered too much about. “To be honest, I didn't try to get that name when I started playing cricket. What I think is there is a method in madness and you have got to adapt to different situations, both in life and cricket. All the different shots I play are all about survival in the game. I think that's where the 360-degree thing comes from,” he said.

Then again he is also a technically perfect batsman – but he objected to the 'being perfect' part -- his favourite shot happens to be the lap shot, or the scoop over the shoulder. “It is pretty unique, you've got to be gutsy to do that, sort of put your body on the line. But that's how I have always played the game, so I enjoy that,” he revealed.