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I pleaded with De Villiers not to retire now - CSA CEO

Cricket SA's Thabang Moroe he had been in communication with AB de Villiers and had pleaded with him to come back to the country first so that they could strategies the exit strategy.

Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe says he pleaded with AB de Villers not to retire now, as they had centred most of their ICC Cricket World Cup plans around him.

De Villiers announced his retiremen t from International cricket on Wednesday afternoon on his Twitter account.

The veteran of 114 Test matches, 228 One Day Internationals and 78 T20 Internationals said that he was tired, and it was time to give others a chance, after representing his country for 14 years.

The irrepressible De Villiers boasts numerous records in his illustrious international career.

He holds the World Record for the fastest ODI 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls), the second highest individual Test score for South Africa (278*), the highest points (935) by a South African on the ICC Test ranking and has claimed the coveted SA Cricketer of the Year award twice (2014 and 2015).

Moroe says he had been in communication with De Villiers and had pleaded with him to come back to the country first so that they could strategies the exit strategy.

“I pleaded with him to come back home first and talk about this and iron out how we are going to do this, and also get an understanding, but he had reached a point where he needed to do this today, which is something he has been thinking about for the last couple of months.”

De Villiers took a sabbatical from Test cricket in 2017, where he missed the tours of New Zealand, England and the home series against Bangladesh. He returned to the Test arena in South Africa’s once-off historic four-day, day/night Boxing Day Test match against Zimbabwe at St Georges Park.

Moroe also confirmed that De Villiers’ retirement has set their 2019 Cricket World Cup plans back.

“We could all see the senior players taking us to the World Cup and coming back from the World Cup and discussing how they were going to exit. We now have to deviate from that plan which is going to put us on the back foot, but we respect AB’s decision nonetheless.”

De Villiers said that he has no plans of playing overseas and hopes he can still be available for the Titans in the South African domestic cricket.

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