AB de Villiers calls time for Proteas

South African legend and cricket icon makes shock retirement from international cricket

Sam Ferris

23 May 2018, 09:21 PM AEST

AB de Villiers calls time for Proteas

South Africa master batsman AB de Villiers has sensationally announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect.

The 34-year-old, who made his international debut in December 2004, admitted he is "tired" and "running out of gas".

 "I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect," de Villiers said on Wednesday. "After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI’s and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.

"This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.

What makes AB de Villiers so special?

"It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas.

"For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years.

"The most important thank you goes out to all of my team mates throughout my career, I wouldn’t be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years.

AB blasts fastest ever ODI century

"It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.

"I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas."

De Villiers walks away from international cricket as one of its greatest entertainers.

The right-hander owns the record the fastest one-day international century for his 31-ball demolition job against the West Indies in Johannesburg in January 2015. 

He also owns the fastest 150 in ODI cricket when the Windies again were on the receiving end at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney as de Villiers reached the milestone in just 64 balls. 

AB De Villiers makes fastest 150 ever

He hit 47 international centuries (22 in Tests, 25 in ODIs), with his last coming against Australia in Port Elizabeth as part of South Africa's historic 3-1 series win on on home soil.

One of the best hundreds I've seen: Smith

De Villiers captained his country in three Tests, 103 ODIs and 18 T20 internationals, and was at the helm when the Proteas lost their 2015 World Cup semi-final to New Zealand in dramatic fashion.

Many believed the 2019 World Cup in the UK next year would be his international swansong, but the champion batsman said winning cricket's showpiece 50-over event would not define him.

"My ultimate dream is not to win a World Cup," de Villiers said last month.

"I've changed my mindset. I feel it will be nice to win it, it'll be a bonus, but if I don't, it's not going to define my career.