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'AB de Villiers will not come out of international retirement,' says Cricket South Africa

Johannesburg, May 18: Cricket South Africa on Tuesday announced that AB de Villiers won't be coming out of international retirement ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in India, saying that he has decided "once and for all" that his mind will not change.

CSA said that "discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all, that his retirement will remain final." The statement was reportedly made after CSA announced the team for a tour of the West Indies.

IPL 2021: Blake wants De Villiers to come out of international retirement

In May 2018, de Villiers had announced his retirement from international cricket. He played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is before announcing his surprise retirement. However, last month the 37-year-old versatile cricketer said it would be "fantastic" to make an international comeback ahead of the T20 World Cup. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India in October-November.

Earlier last month, while speaking to the reporters in Chennai, de Villiers had then said he will have a chat with South Africa head coach Mark Boucher at the end of IPL 2021 while assessing his form and fitness after RCB's campaign in the 14th season of the T20 tournament.

"If I can slot in, it will be fantastic," de Villiers said after he played another match-winning innings for his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2021 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The prolific batsman added he will be fine with it even if he is not able to make a comeback.

De Villiers, 37, said he is going to communicate with South Africa head coach Mark Boucher towards the end of the IPL.

"I am absolutely interested, with regards to my form, my fitness, we have to get the best 15 together, we will plan accordingly. I am speaking with Boucher towards the end of IPL," he added. On Friday (April 16), Boucher had hinted at de Villiers' possible international comeback.

Boucher, a former South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman, has also revealed about the conversation he had with the RCB star ahead of the IPL 2021.

"I did chat to him before he went to the IPL," Boucher had said. "The conversation is still very much open. AB being the person he is, he wanted to perform very well at the IPL, to prove to himself and everyone else that he is still a very key figure in world cricket and could dominate at that level," Boucher had said.

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 17:58 [IST]
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