Hoping for IPL to happen this year: AB de Villiers

Written by Abhishek Patil

AB de Villiers remains one of the most loved cricketers across the globe. Though he has had his fair share of criticism over the talks of him taking u-turn from retirement, De Villiers – in a chat with cricket expert and commentator Harsha Bhogle – confirmed that he isn’t yet ‘back and available’. The South African cricketer also admitted to Bhogle that he is hopeful of the Indian Premier League happening this year, post which he will have a fair idea of a possible return from retirement.

Before the lockdown was imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak, De Villiers had discussed the subject of an international comeback with Mark Boucher – the head coach of South Africa cricket team – though no decision has been taken on the matter yet. In a candid chat with Bhogle for Cricbuzz, Mr. 360 admitted that his mind and heart were in different places when he decided to hang up his boots in 2018.

“A lot happened over the last 5 years. Those were confusing times where my heart and mind were in different places. I’ve asked myself those questions (on retirement u-turn) quite a lot of time. Made the decision to retire at a time where I really needed to get away and I got a lot of criticism for picking and choosing series,” De Villiers told Harsha.

“In the back of my mind, I knew that I am still going to play cricket. After a good IPL or two and the Big Bash League, thoughts about playing in the T20 World Cup came to my mind,” he said speaking about a potential return to international cricket.

Proteas head coach Boucher had admitted having had a conversation with De Villiers over his return to the national team but the two were far from finalising a date. De Villiers confirmed that he isn’t back and available as yet but wants to assess how his body and form is before taking the final call.

“Boucher started the conversation with me about a possible comeback. I am not the kind of guy who’d say, ‘look, I am back and available'”. I told him to let’s see where we go with this. Yes, it’s confusing but things have changed in the last 3-4 years. I am still healthy and feel I can hit the ball. If that changes, I am certainly not available for anything. But for now, let’s see what happens in the next few games I play,” the iconic batsman asserted.

“I’ve to assess my situation every single day and see where I’m at. I just want to get back to a cricket field. Hopefully, the IPL happens this year. I just want to get going, after which I will reassess and I will have a look at where I’m at – with regards to my body, family and hunger, all of these things play a big role,” he further said.

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Abhishek Patil