Former South African skipper, AB de Villiers recently went on to reveal that he had suggested the current Proteas skipper, Faf du Plessis not to go for a county cricket after du Plessis’ Kolpak contract with Lancashire expired in 2010.
In an interview on a chat show Breakfast with Champions, De Villiers explained how he urged Faf that he was “pretty close” to national selection at the time he was considering taking up the second deal in England.
Recalling the incident, ABD said, “There was a moment when he was thinking of signing for one of the English counties. He did call me up, and said what do I think about it? I said listen, not a long time from now there will be a few retirements, a few guys will step down, and you’re pretty close. And the coaches and the team are talking about you, so just hang in a little bit longer. And finally, the breakthrough came. I’m not taking credit for that, but we did have that conversation. And I’m very happy I was straight up with him.”
De Villiers and Du Plessis were rivals in their primary school days, but in they got into the same school during the teenage days and then they became team-mates and friends. AB made his Test debut against England in December 2004, but Faf got his first chance almost seven years later, against India in 2011, after he had topped the domestic one-day run-charts.
ABD also went on to share his retirement in 2018 story as it was quite shocking for the cricketing fraternity, especially as the World Cup was only a year away. He revealed his desire of playing the World Cup, but the need to spend more time with his family. He also said that he “felt cornered” by expectation and criticism, and hinted at other, “deeper reasons” for his departure.
Talking about the same, De Villiers said, “I was keen to play in the World Cup, but I left, I retired. For the last three years of my career, I was labeled as a guy who is picking and choosing when I was playing and when not. It’s always been about the team, it’s never been about myself. But I found myself in a position where I had to make a decision where it’s going to look like I’m just thinking about myself.
He further added, “There’s a part of me that will always miss it. Everything that goes with it. I wish I could have pushed on longer, but it was time. I had a great run. I had so much fun, I really did, and more dreams came true than I could ever imagine. And there was lots of heartbreaks as well along the way, and that’s the great ride that we all go through.”