New Delhi: South African talisman AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on Wednesday, saying he was tired and had run "out of gas" after 14 years in the top league.
The 34-year-old former South African skipper said 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. He averaged over 50 in both the Tests and ODIs.
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.
Following are some of the tributes that the cricketing world heaped on him:
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 23, 2018
I remember this young guy on his 1st day out for Proteas... What an inspiration, person and player he turned out to be. Thank you for everything you have done and been for your country, teammates and fans @ABdeVilliers17 #legend pic.twitter.com/8gQBDWbAp7
— mark boucher (@markb46) May 23, 2018
So shocked to here @ABdeVilliers17 has decided to call time on his international career. But that’s just life and he feels it’s time to move on. Thank you great man for your amazing Match winning Performances, Skill Captaincy and most of all your Humility.
— Allan Donald (@AllanDonald33) May 23, 2018
Such a shame for international cricket @ABdeVilliers17 ... But he has been an unbelievable advert to how I would have loved to have played all 3 formats .. GREAT GREAT Player ... Top 3 that I have ever seen .. #AB
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 23, 2018
Everyone knows when their time has arrived,abbas is no different. Congrats on a wonderful career @ABdeVilliers17
— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) May 23, 2018
An inspiration to millions, and one of the greatest to have come from South Africa. @ABdeVilliers17 retired a true legend!
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) May 23, 2018
Congratulations @ABdeVilliers17 , the most loved cricketer in the world, on a wonderful career. International cricket will be poorer without you, but you will continue to be celebrated by cricket fans around the world pic.twitter.com/uA7CBlYE9F
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) May 23, 2018
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) May 23, 2018
One of the all time greats of the game, many congratulations #ABDevilliers on an outstanding career. The Federer of Cricket, the most loved cricketer on the planet. Wish you the best for your future endeavours. pic.twitter.com/WEuHEdbuQy
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) May 23, 2018
— R P Singh (@rpsingh) May 23, 2018
One of the best! Wish you all the best AB amazing player but above all that great guy... https://t.co/njEZLnuPit
— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) May 23, 2018
"I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI's and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired," de Villiers announced through a video message on social networking site Twitter. "This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I'd like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside," he added.
"It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa (CSA) for their support through all these years. The most important thank you goes out to all of my teammates throughout my career, I wouldn't be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years," de Villiers said.
(With PTI inputs)