Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh back AB de Villiers on World Cup controversy

After clearing the air about his desire to come out of retirement and represent the Proteas ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019, former South African skipper AB de Villiers received the support from Indian skipper Virat Kohli and retired cricketer Yuvraj Singh on Saturday. De Villiers recently broke his silence on the controversy for opting to go on board with international projects following his retirement from cricket in 2018. Clarifying his stand with a lengthy remark on Instagram on Friday, the explosive middle-order batsman presented his version of the story about how things went down when the news of De Villiers knocking the South African team doors on the eve of World Cup was spread like wildfire.

The 35-year-old in his statement said that he had no demands whatsoever and certainly did not try to force his way into the Proteas ICC World Cup 2019 squad with a zero hour notice. De Villiers issued his statement in response to the reports where it was learned that the former South African captain was rejected by the team management after he marked himself available and was ready to come out of retirement for the England and Wales spectacle.

“I made absolutely no demands at all. I certainly did not try to force my way into the World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament, and did not expect to be included. There was no burning issue from my side, and no sense of injustice,” AB de Villiers said.

Backing the Proteas star batsman and his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) counterpart in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Indian skipper Kohli hailed De Villiers as the most honest and committed person he has come across with. Kohli was saddened by the fact that people tried to invade his personal space, something he finds unfair and needless.

“My brother you are the most honest and committed man I know. It’s been unfortunate to see this happen to you. But know that we stand with you and believe in you,” Kohli wrote on Instagram. “Seeing people enter your personal space has been sad to see and uncalled for. More love and power to you and your beautiful family. Me and Anushka are Always here for you guys” Kohli added.

Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who recently announced his retirement also lent his support to the South African great with a generous remark on his Instagram post. “My dear friend and legend, your one of the nicest guys i’ve ever played cricket with an absolute gem of a person! There was never a chance for SA in this World Cup to win without you! It is your country’s loss not to have you in the squad not yours. The bigger the player more the criticism! We all know what a gentleman you are,” Yuvi wrote.

A De Villiers-less South Africa under Faf Du Plessis’ leadership were torn apart in the competition and registered only three wins. The Proteas finished seventh in the ICC World Cup league table standings with seven points in nine matches.

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Abhishek Patil