Former player Jonty Rhodes has urged South Africa to explore the option of bringing back AB de Villiers from retirement to boost their chances in the T20 World Cup later this year.
The 36-year-old hasn’t played international cricket for nearly two years, having announced his retirement in May 2018. It was later revealed that he made an offer to play the 50-over World Cup last year, but was turned down by the national selectors.
“I’m a big fan of AB de Villiers,” Rhodes was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “I’m just not sure of the precedent. If you want to win a T20 World Cup, you should do anything to win it. I suppose a lot of people watch how he performed at the IPL but just watching him in the Big Bash, he’s such a class player.”
The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 will commence from October 18 and conclude on November 15 in Australia.
“I think it’s interesting because it’s a tough call,” Rhodes said. “You want your best team to play, it’s also tough on the guys who then miss out. You know AB is a very special player so then do you set a precedent for a guy like AB de Villiers if he is not playing for South Africa, I mean why are you selecting him.”
One of the game’s best fielders, Rhodes, however, also felt a move like calling De Villiers back may mean leaving out a player who would be in contention in the lead-up to the tournament.
“You are not breaking any rules, you are setting a slight precedent and you are going to be upsetting a few players who are going to miss out. But a team without AB de Villiers or a team with AB de Villiers... I’d love to see that guy play,” Rhodes said.
He added, “Although difficult to answer that because I’m not somebody who is missing out, I’m also not from the administration about setting this kind of precedent, so I don’t have to make that call. It’ll just be great to see AB de Villiers play at a World Cup again for us.”