IPL 2019: AB de Villiers says retiring from international cricket has helped him stay sharp for franchise cricket
AB de Villiers had left everyone in shock when he announced his retirement from international cricket in May of 2018. The former South Africa captain was touted to be one of the most important players going into the ICC World Cup 2019, but his shock announcement left not only his countrymen, but fans of his game all over the world were left wanting for more.
But Mr. 360 has kept himself busy playing franchise T20 cricket all over the world and recently was named the player of the match in the IPL 2019 game between RCB and KXIP, where his fifty helped RCB register their first win after six straight losses. AB de Villiers in an interview with ESPNCricinfo talked about how retiring from the international game has revitalized his game for T20 tournaments.
Can’t keep playing 10-11 months a year and stay sharp after 15 years of international cricket
De Villiers has played in four T20 tournaments, since his retirement in May 2018 – the Mzansi Super League, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Pakistan Super League, and the IPL. In the 28 innings he has played in, eight have been single-digit scores and he had made only four 50-plus scores during this period.
“That’s [being sharp’s] exactly the reason why I decided not to play international cricket, it’s to be as sharp as I can in other forms of the game around the world. I can’t keep playing 10-11 months a year and keep being sharp after 15 years of international cricket. This kind of tournament, I’m playing every now and then, every 2-3 months. [It] really keeps me energetic. I get to work with university guys back home. With some of the local guys and local youngsters, which really gives me the energy and really motivates me to be better for some of the youngsters back home and be an example for them,” De Villiers was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“Obviously I want to be there at the end every time, winning games for the team. I’ve hit the ball well, I’ve got in many times, and I just haven’t gotten far on a few occasions. But as I said, I’ve got too much respect for the game of cricket to get ahead of myself and get too hard on myself,” he said about RCB’s close losses in IPL 2019.