I did not demand to be included in CWC 2019 squad: De Villiers breaks silence

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South Africa’s former captain and batting great AB de Villiers has broken his silence since the report circulated during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when it was alleged that AB de Villiers had made himself available for selection just 24 hours prior to the announcement of the 15-man squad for the tournament.

However, AB de Villiers released a statement On Friday said: “Now the Proteas’ World Cup campaign is over, and the team cannot be distracted, I would like to respond to unjustified criticism of me during the tournament.”

“I continue to be asked to comment on the disclosure, and distortion, of a private conversation that took place just before the squad was announced and, for the benefit of anyone who may have felt let down, would like to explain what happened.”

“First, I announced my retirement from international cricket in May 2018 because I wanted to reduce my workload and spend more time with family. Some have insisted I was motivated purely by money. They are wrong. In truth, I have turned down many lucrative offers to play around the world.”

“Second, on the day of my announcement, I was privately asked whether ‘the door was still open’ for me to play in the World Cup. I was asked. I did not offer. I quickly replied ‘Yes’. With hindsight, maybe I should have just said no, but my natural instinct has always been to find a way to oblige whenever possible.”

“During the weeks and months that followed, there was no formal contact between Cricket South Africa or the Proteas and me. I didn’t call them, and they didn’t call me. I had made my decision and South Africa moved on, enjoying success under the expert guidance of coach Ottis Gibson and the outstanding captaincy of Faf du Plessis. Faf and I have been friends since we were at school together and, two days before the World Cup squad was announced, I contacted him for a chat.”

“I certainly did not try to force my way into the World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament, and did not expect to be included.”
“The story was not leaked by me, or anybody associated with me, or by Faf. Maybe someone wanted to deflect criticism.”
“As a result, I was unfairly described as arrogant, selfish and indecisive but, with all humility, my conscience is clear. I retired for honest reasons and, when asked if I could be available for the World Cup, agreed to keep the door open.

“I have been massively proud to have played for, and indeed captain, my country on the cricket field. My relationships with the Proteas players remain as strong as ever, and I will always be available to support and assist the next generation.

“Lastly, in stating my side of this unpleasant and unnecessary saga, I want to stress my continuing support for the team and the game that has shaped my life and provided me with so many lasting friendships and incredible opportunities.”

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