Former Proteas captain AB de Villiers has strongly rubbished reports in India that he is considering coming out of retirement to play for the Proteas at the ICC World Cup in England next year.
Reports of De Villiers’ supposed comeback surfaced earlier this week after he gave an interview in India but the man himself made it clear on Thursday that he has no intention of making a spectacular comeback to the national team.
He insisted that his comments were misinterpreted.
“No‚ there is no comeback ‚,” he said during the official launch of the Tshwane Spartans franchise he will be captaining during the Mzansi Super League.
“I made the mistake of saying “never say never”‚ which is a philosophy that I have always followed in my life.
“I was actually trying to say that I am focusing on the now but it came out horribly wrong and the next minute there were headlines around the world.”
De Villiers‚ who will continue to play in some of the T20 tournaments around the world and is idolized by millions of fans in cricket-mad India‚ said he is enjoying his retirement.
“I certainly do not want to confuse anyone around the world‚ especially the Proteas team‚,” he said.
“It will be very selfish and arrogant of me to throw statements around that I want to play at the World Cup.
“I am happy where I am and focusing on the now and I will never say ‘never say‚ never again’.
“My focus at the moment is to play good cricket in the Mzansi Super League for the Tswhane Spartans. I have been working hard to be fit.”
De Villiers said the new tournament has the potential to become a huge success like the IPL in the coming years. “It is difficult to say but the potential is huge‚,” he said.
“This tournament will give us a feel of what to expect and where it is going to go‚ but it will get better every single year.
“At the beginning‚ the IPL was a bit slow because people did not know where it was going to go but look at it now‚” he said‚ adding that he was happy with the squad that the Spartans have assembled.
“The system of picking players was an interesting one.
“I actually was on the phone with coach Mark Boucher the whole time during the draft and it was tough.
“We missed out on a couple of players and that is how the draft system goes.
“But I am very happy with the squad.
“I believe we have what it takes to win the tournament if we get the dynamics right.”
The Spartans managed to buy England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan during the draft and De Villiers said he does not know how they pulled it off.
“I am very happy because he is a great leader and he has been in fantastic form‚,” he said.
“He is a match winner and I think we got lucky with him.
“I don’t know how he ended up in our team because I thought he was going to be picked up earlier.
“I am very happy to have him our team.
“I know him very well and Boucher played with him in Bangalore for a few years at the IPL.”