Proteas Test, ODI and T20 captain AB
de Villiers says he remains open for a return to the
national set-up next year.
The 36-year-old, who last
represented his country in early 2018, has been in superb form in the 2020
edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Reports of a possible return to
the South African national side had started long before the IPL, though, and even
before global cricket was shut down in March because of the coronavirus
With T20 World Cups now scheduled
for India in 2021 and then Australia in 2022, De Villiers has become an
increasingly attractive option in the game’s shortest format.
De Villiers smashed an unbeaten 73* (33) on
Monday night that included six sixes as RCB carded 194/2 against the Kolkata
Knight Riders to set up a comfortable win.
It was another startling reminder of just how good he is and how
much it hurt not having him available for the 2019 World Cup in England last
De Villiers has now hit three half-centuries at this year’s IPL
and while he has scored a healthy 228 runs
in the competition at an average of 57.00,
the most impressive return is his staggering strike rate of 185.36.
Speaking to Netwerk24 in an
article published on Wednesday morning, De Villiers confirmed that there was
“definitely a possibility” of a return, but that he would get closer
to that decision next year.
The 2021 IPL will take place over
April and May, and De Villiers will use that tournament as a benchmark of where
he is with the World Cup in India scheduled for November.
“I still don’t have plans
beyond the current IPL,” De Villiers said, before turning his attention to
next year’s tournament.
“In my opinion, that
tournament will be a test. I expect to hear from [Proteas coach, Mark Boucher]
Bouch around that time, or just before the tournament, to hear if they are
still interested in making me part of their plans.
“I still have to hit the
ball well and in April/May 2021 I still have to be one of the best in the
world. I need to be fit, in mind and in body. A lot of things need to fall into
Based on current form, it is
difficult to imagine a situation where De Villiers would not be an attractive
for Boucher and the Proteas in their efforts to win a first ICC World Cup next
by Lloyd Burnard