Domingo: Time with family is important & we respect De Villiers's decision

Russell Domingo was the head coach of the national side for four years and knows that AB de Villiers was considering international retirement for some time.

FILE: Proteas batsman AB de Villiers pictured on 15 January 2018 during day three of the second Test against India. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Former Proteas coach Russell Domingo told EWN Sport that travel and time away from family has taken its toll on AB de Villiers.

Domingo was the head coach of the national side for four years and knows that De Villiers was considering international retirement for some time.

“He’s grappled with it for a while now, so I suppose another two months away from home in the IPL has probably been hard for him to deal with again. It’s been there and there about all the time, it’s always been spoken about and we’ve tried to keep him as fresh as we possibly could but at the end of the day family comes first and we got to respect his decision.”

He says he understands how travelling can impact a player’s life and he respects De Villiers's decision.

“I’ve been fortunate that at least during the IPL, I have got time at home, those two months at home are fantastic and he has never had that for the last seven/eight years, so it’s been very hard for him.”

Arguably South Africa’s most talented batsman, De Villiers averaged over 50 in both Tests and One-Day Internationals, he also captained the team and Domingo says his absence will be felt.

“Very sad, that team is sort of a different team when he plays, he makes such a big impact when he plays and the players love having him around so it’s a big loss for the side, there is no doubt about that.”

The mercurial stroke player has always mentioned his desire to win a World Cup for his country, however, Domingo believes that family overtakes all other goals and priorities eventually.

“I don’t think he is a guy that plays for special accolades, he’s always been a team player, so I don’t think there is anything more to it. He just had enough of the pressures and the travelling and the time away from home and family. As much as he wants to win a World Cup, that’s just taken preference and you got to respect that and admire that because it’s always been a burning ambition to win the World Cup, but nothing is more important than time at home with his family.”

AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.