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AB de Villiers World Cup offer was a shock - CSA

The story of AB de Villiers' offer comes as the Proteas struggle at the World Cup, having lost by 6 wickets to India on Wednesday and been beaten in the previous two games by England and Bangladesh.

FILE: Former South Africa batsman AB de Villiers. Picture:  @OfficialCSA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on Thursday that AB de Villiers did, in fact, approach the governing body to make himself available for selection for the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales.

ESPN Cricinfo originally broke the story which stated that De Villiers had offered to come out of retirement at the 11th hour, but was turned down by the South African team management.

The story comes as the Proteas struggle at the World Cup, having lost by six wickets to India on Wednesday and been beaten in the previous two games by England and Bangladesh.

De Villiers captained the Proteas to the semifinals of the World Cup in 2015 and announced his retirement from the international scene in May last year.

In a statement, CSA confirmed that De Villiers had approached it to be considered for selection.

“For Faf du Plessis and Ottis Gibson to share AB’s desire to be included in the squad on the day we announced our World Cup squad on April 18th was a shock to all of us", said convener of selectors Linda Zondi.

Zondi said CSA had pleaded with de Villiers not to retire.

"We made it clear that he would have to play during the home tours against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to be considered for selection, instead he signed to play in the Pakistan and Bangladesh Premier Leagues respectively. He turned down the offer and said he was at peace with his decision to retire", said Zondi.

The selectors have also stood by their decision not pick him for the World Cup.

“At no point in the year that he had retired did he make himself available for selection. It was no option when I received the news on the day of the squad announcement, our squad was finalised and confirmed. AB is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, but above all else, we have to stay true to our morals and principles, there is no regret in the decision”, said Zondi.

South Africa play their next World Cup game on Monday against the West Indies.

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