AB de Villiers’ Hidden Struggle: Battling A Detached Retina In The Twilight Of His Career
By CricShots - Dec 7, 2023 6:04 pm
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Former South African cricketer AB de Villiers has shed light on a previously unknown challenge that overshadowed the final two years of his career. In a recent interview, de Villiers revealed that he sustained a detached retina, significantly impacting his vision and ultimately contributing to his decision to retire from all formats of cricket in 2021.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers

The revelation comes as a surprise, considering de Villiers’ continued dominance in franchise-based Twenty20 leagues, particularly for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Despite the public perception of his prowess, de Villiers battled a hidden struggle that significantly hampered his vision in his right eye.

“My youngster accidentally kicked me on my eye with his heel. I started really losing vision in the right eye. When I got the surgery done the doctor actually asked me, ‘How in the world did you play cricket like this?’. Luckily my left eye did a decent job for the last two years of my career,” AB de Villiers confessed.

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This revelation adds context to de Villiers’ decision to decline a potential comeback during the 2019 World Cup. Despite reports of his interest in rejoining the national squad, Cricket South Africa’s reluctance to disrupt a strong team ultimately led to the offer going unanswered.


Reflecting on his decision to retire in 2018, de Villiers mentioned the 2015 World Cup disappointment and the subsequent change in team culture as contributing factors. He expressed a desire to step away from the spotlight and enjoy a quiet farewell.

“I didn’t want any spotlight on me. I just wanted to say, ‘I had a great time, thank you very much’,” AB de Villiers concluded.

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AB de Villiers’ revelation serves as a testament to his resilience and dedication. Even with a significant injury, he continued to excel on the field, showcasing his exceptional talent and unwavering passion for the game. His story serves as an inspiration to aspiring cricketers and athletes worldwide, reminding them that success often comes with unseen struggles and challenges.