- AB de Villiers shocked and stunned the cricketing world when he announced his immediate retirement from international cricket last Wednesday
- Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has revealed he was just as surprised and shocked by the news as the rest of the world
- Gibson said AB’s retirement will have a significant impact on the Proteas plans for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales
Last Wednesday, AB de Villiers stunned the world when he announced his immediate retirement from international cricket.
Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson has revealed that he was just as stunned and shocked by the news as the rest of the cricketing world. Gibson said on Monday AB’s announcement surprised him.
Gibson said he had until last week been building plans, focused on the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, which had included AB. Gibson said AB’s retirement would have a significant impact on the team’s plans for the world cup.
Briefly.co.za gathered that while Gibson has been left unhappy with AB’s decision he has conceded that it is what it is and it was up to him, his support team and the players to make the best of the situation.
Gibson says AB called him the morning before he made the public announcement. The pair had a long conversation about whether he was making the right decision.
In the end, AB felt together with his closest family and friends that he had made the correct decision for him personally.
“He is one of the best players in the world. He could have made a huge difference in the World Cup and he knows that. We all know that. He’s chosen to walk away from the game and it is what it is,” said Gibson.
Sacricketmag.com reports that Gibson doesn’t believe someone like AB can ever be replaced like for like, but said instead now was the perfect opportunity for a youngster to put up their hand and fill the void.
Fans have had various reactions to AB’s retirement, most have congratulated him on a stunning career, others have questioned the timing and manner of his retirement.
Respected South African cricket commentator Kass Naidoo said AB’s timing left a sour taste in the mouth and said he should have made the announcement during the Test series against Australia in order to allow fans to give him a proper farewell.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his retirement, AB will be remembered as a true legend of the game.
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