De Villiers eyes T20 World Cup return

AB de Villiers has confirmed his desire to come out of international retirement and feature for South Africa in this year's T20 World Cup in South Africa.

AB DE VILLIERS of the Proteas.
AB DE VILLIERS of the Proteas. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South African batting great AB de Villiers has confirmed his intention to come out of international retirement for this year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

The 35-year-old retired from international cricket suddenly in 2018, but was then controversially overlooked after making himself available for last year's 50-over World Cup in England.

De Villiers, currently playing with Brisbane in the Big Bash League, still has a desire to play for his country though and says the arrival of former teammate Mark Boucher as coach might help it happen.

"I've been talking to 'Bouch', (former captain and new director of cricket) Graeme Smith and (current captain) Faf (du Plessis) back home, we're all keen to make it happen," de Villiers said after making his BBL debut for the Heat on Tuesday.

"It's a long way away still, and plenty can happen ... I've still got to be in form at that time.

"So I'm thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out."

Form is unlikely to be an issue if his successful BBL debut is anything to go by, de Villiers stroking a calm 40 to guide the Brisbane past Adelaide at the Gabba.

His knock comes after a commanding series in South Africa's T20 league last year, while he will return for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL in March.

But first he will play the final five regular season games and a potential BBL finals series in what could be a perfect preparation for October's World Cup.

The modest star says he'll do his best to "keep a low profile" until then, but that the return of Boucher, Smith and new batting consultant Jacques Kallis had helped streamline communications.

"They understand what players go through, especially players that have played for 15 years internationally," de Villiers said.

"It doesn't mean that everything is going to be sunshine and roses.

"But it's definitely a lot easier and it feels comfortable, the language that's being used and just the feel that everyone has at the moment in South Africa about the cricket.

"They're my friends and I played 10-plus years with them internationally; we've been through a lot and it's great to have them involved again, and as I said, hopefully I'll be involved again as well pretty soon."


AAP