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Am taken aback by all the love and support, says an 'emotional' AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers averaged over 50 in both the Tests and ODIs.

 Am taken aback by all the love and support, says an 'emotional' AB de Villiers
Pic courtesy: Twitter/@ICC

New Delhi: Former South African skipper AB de Villiers, one of the leading batsmen of his generation who became renowned for his ability to score quickly while deploying an array of both orthodox and innovative shots, thanked everyone on Thursday for their good wishes and understanding and said that the last few days have been tough and emotional.

"Thank you to everyone - especially the players past and present, my teammates and opponents - for their good wishes and understanding. The last few days have been tough and emotional, but I’m taken aback by all the love and support," he tweeted, a day after he announced his international retirement. De Villiers also used the hashtag - #proteafire for life. 

In a video posted on the social media, 34-year-old had said that he was "out of gas" after 14 years in the top league and that his jaded body was no longer in a position to take the rigours of international cricket after a staggering 420 matches across three formats with over 20,000 runs and 47 hundred. 

The cricketing world had reacted with shock and surprise at de Villiers' sudden decision to quit international cricket with legend Sachin Tendulkar leading the tributes. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, VVS Laxman, Allan Donald, Mark Boucher, Mahela Jayawardena, Michael Vaughan, Shahid Afridi were among the many cricketers from across the world who paid heartfelt tributes to him.

Fans too reacted with shock and hailed de Villiers on his outstanding career.

De Villiers holds the records for the fastest 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls) of all time in One Day Internationals. The swashbuckling batsman is a three-time ICC ODI player of the year, clinching the trophy in 2010, 2014 and 2015. De Villiers succeeded Graeme Smith as ODI captain after the 2011 World Cup. He later took over the Test captaincy from Hashim Amla. However, he stepped down from the leader of the five-day format in 2016 due to an elbow injury. 

He averaged over 50 in both the Tests and ODIs. De Villiers was called 'AB 360 degree' for being able to hit at all corners. 

(With PTI inputs)