Johannesburg: Putting an end to all the speculations, Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Tuesday announced that swashbuckling AB de Villiers won’t be coming out of international retirement to join the squad ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.
As CSA announced the red and white-ball squads for their upcoming tour of West Indies and Ireland, they also confirmed that De Villiers has decided “once and for all” that his retirement would remain final after discussions with the board.
‘Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final,” CSA said in a statement on Twitter.
In May 2018, de Villiers had announced his retirement from international cricket. He played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is before announcing the surprise decision.
However, on the sidelines of an IPL match last month, the versatile cricketer said it would be ‘fantastic’ to make an international comeback ahead of the T20 World Cup.
The 37-year-old was in a splendid form in the IPL 2021 playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) before the tournament suspended due to several players and staff testing positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the 19-member Test squad for the West Indies tour will see Dean Elgar lead the Proteas for the first time since his permanent appointment as Test captain in March 2021.
Off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen has received maiden call-up for the national Test side after an eye-catching domestic season in which he finished with 19 wickets in four matches.
Sisanda Magala and Lizaad Williams have retained their spots in the national side for both limited-overs matches against West Indies and Ireland.
Other uncapped selections include Kyle Verreynne, Keegan Petersen, Sarel Erwee and Marco Jansen.
“The historic tour to Ireland is crucial for points towards our qualification for the 2023 Cricket World Cup and preparation for the T20 World Cup later this year. This is the start of our road to these trophies and every tour will see us field our absolute best sides,” Cricket South Africa Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang said.
“The team has been in a rebuilding phase for a while now but we are satisfied that the return on investment is going to show itself sooner rather than later.
We have to trust the process that has been put in place and support our team while they find themselves and their way. These are truly exciting times in South African cricket, with an exciting new leadership group that is determined to return the team back to its winning ways,” he added.
Test squad for West Indies tour: Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma (vc), Quinton de Kock, Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Peterson , Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lizaad Williams , Prenelan Subrayen, Marco Jansen
T20 squad for West Indies tour: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams
White-ball squad for Ireland tour: Temba Bavuma (c) Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo , Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams