“I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect. After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over,” de Villiers said in a video posted on Twitter.
“I had my time and to be honest I am tired. This is a tough decision, I thought long and hard about it and I wanted to retire while still playing decent cricket. After fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels the right time to step aside.
“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 to my teammates, my coaches and the staff of Cricket South Africa for their support all these years,” he further said.
The 34-year-old batsman said ‘the time is right’ for him to hang up his boots, bringing a close to a sterling 14-year career, which saw him finish with a staggering 20,014 international runs (8765 in Tests, 9577 in ODIs and 1672 in T20Is).
Thanking his fans for the support, de Villiers, who averaged over 50 in both Tests and ODIs, made it clear that he had no plans of moving out and playing overseas.
“It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding,” he said.
“I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas,” he concluded.
Reacting to the announcement, Cricket South Africa (CSA) President Chris Nenzani congratulated de Villiers for his contribution and added that his presence in the team would be missed.
“AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern day batting in all three formats but particularly in the white ball ones to new levels,” he said in a statement.
“What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his team mates whether playing at international or domestic level and the wonderful role model he has been to all our aspiring youngsters.
“It goes without saying that he is going to be greatly missed wherever international cricket is played. We thank him for the contribution he has made to South African cricket and specifically to make the Standard Bank Proteas world leaders and we wish him and his family everything of the best in his future endeavours,” he added.