Former India cricketing great and now mentor of Sunrisers Hyderabad, V.V.S. Laxman, felt that the retirement of A.B. de Villiers from international cricket can be a huge loss to South Africa, especially with the World Cup scheduled in 2019.

“Yet, honestly, I was not surprised by his decision, given the back injury he suffered last season. Maybe, at some stage, he might have given a serious thought to the workload and demands of international cricket. Furthermore, we have to respect his decision as ultimately as a cricketer, he should know what is the best decision to take in this regard,” Laxman informed ‘Sportstar’ on Wednesday.

“I tell it was a privilege to watch him play. He seemed to have the option of three strokes for each ball. He was an extraordinarily skilful cricketer who changed the course of the match single-handedly in all the three formats of the game,” Laxman said.

READ: Fastest ODI hundred, 278 not out - De Villiers' best knocks

“I have seen the best of the bowlers suffer for he could even hit good length balls to the fence, effortlessly, with a huge range of strokes and many didn’t know where to bowl to him,” he said.

“The best part is that he lived upto the expectations. I remember rave reviews when de Villiers arrived on international cricket. It is amazing that he sustained his level of excellence for so long at the highest level because he was mentally very strong,” Laxman said.

“I hope he will continue to play for his franchise in the IPL and delight the fans with his cricketing skills,” he concluded.