South African great AB de Villiers had offered to come out of retirement in order to play in the ongoing World Cup, a request that was quickly rebuffed by the South African team management, according to an ESPNCricInfo report.

The offer to rejoin the South African team was made just 24 hours before the team for the World Cup was set to be announced. The former captain had communicated his desire to return to South Africa’s captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi.

According to the report, the team management turned down the proposal for two major reasons.

De Villiers who retired in May 2018 was out of action in international as well as domestic cricket for over a year and thus didn’t fulfill the criteria for selection. The team management also believed that De Villiers’ late selection would be unfair on the other players who had performed well in his absence over the past year.

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South Africa have had a torrid start to their World Cup campaign losing all three of their opening matches, which has left their semi-final hopes hanging by a thread.

Amid the poor show, there have been various calls for the former batsman to return to change the fortunes of the team.

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De Villiers recently played in the Indian Premier League where he made 442 runs at 44.20 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He seemed in sublime batting touch and many believe his presence would have made a big difference for South Africa in the World Cup.

De Villiers has scored 9577 runs at 53.50 in his ODI career and is widely considered one of the greatest batsman in the format.