AB de Villiers announces shock retirement

South African cricket great AB de Villiers has announced his shock retirement from international cricket.

The 34-year-old made the revelation in an emotional video on Wednesday, with the decision ruling him out of contention for the 2019 World Cup.

“It is time for others to take over. I’ve had my turn, and to be honest, I’m tired,” de Villiers said.

“This is a tough decision. I’ve 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 the right time to step aside.

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“It would not be right for me to pick and choose where and when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful for my teammates, the coaches and the staff of Cricket South Africa for their support all these years.

“It’s not about earning more somewhere else. It’s about running out of gas and feeling that it’s time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To cricket fans around South Africa and around the world, thank you very much for your kindness, your generosity and, today, your understanding.

“I have no plans to play overseas. In fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket and I will remain the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”

AB de Villiers. Pic: Getty

De Villiers retires having played 114 Test matches, 228 one-day and 78 Twenty20 internationals, amassing 20,014 runs for South Africa.

A former captain in all three formats, he raised the bat for 22 Test centuries and 25 ODI centuries.

His final match for the Proteas was South Africa’s 492-run win over Australia in Johannesburg to secure a 3-1 series victory over their long-time rivals.

He holds numerous records as an international cricketer, including the fastest ODI fifty (16 balls) and century (31 balls) when he scored 149 off just 44 against the West Indies in January 2015.

De Villiers recently completed an Indian Premier League season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, scoring 480 runs at an average of 53.33.