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AB steps down as ODI leader, but returns to Test cricket

Thu, 24th, Aug 2017 |
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AB de Villiers has stepped down as the skipper of the South African ODI side but will return to Tests after a long 21 month break. AB played his last Test against England in January 2016 after taking over the reigns from Hashim Amla but an elbow injury following his stints in the IPL and CPL forced him out of the next immediate series against the Kiwis before he opted for a voluntary retirement from the format. 

"Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the T20 and Test teams, and bearing this in mind, I have informed Cricket South Africa that I would like to step down as captain of the ODI team", de Villiers said. 

"It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for someone else to take the ODI side forward. Whoever is chosen as the new ODI captain will have my complete support."

South Africa have 2 massive tours coming up including the number one ranked India visiting them around New Year and AB's return to a side which took a beating in England will be a huge morale booster.

"Following this recent break, I really do feel refreshed and revived. I want to get back on the field and I have today assured the national selectors that I will be available for selection in all three formats of the game during the coming season."

"There is plenty of hard work ahead in the nets and I must prepare properly, but I will be ready to play, if required, from the middle of October onwards."

"Over the past year or so, I have tried to manage many commitments. I have felt mentally and physically tired; my wife and I are bringing up two fantastic kids and playing in all three formats ever since 2004 has taken its toll.

"Together with Cricket South Africa, we have tried to develop a viable schedule which allows me to prolong my career for as long as possible."

But AB's return to red-ball cricket will have to wait more. He won't be a part of the squad that takes on Bangladesh later next month but should be back for any Test that will happen around Christmas. 

"This strategy has prompted some people to say I am picking and choosing when to play for the Proteas, and even to suggest I am somehow putting myself before the team. That is simply not true. That has never been true. Playing for South Africa is, and will always be, the greatest privilege of my life."

There needs to be no explanation for a man who has done almost everything for his nation. From becoming a 5th bowler to keeping wickets to accommodate an extra specialist, AB de Villiers has taken up various roles in his long illustrious career and deserves every opportunity to save himself for the upcoming big events. 

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