AB de Villiers steps down as South Africa ODI captain
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 23/08/17 5:31pm
South Africa batsman AB de Villiers has resigned as his country’s ODI captain after six years in the role but will carry on playing in all formats of the game.
The 33-year-old ruled himself out of the Proteas' Test side for the recent tour of England, which Joe Root's side won 3-1.
That led to some criticism of his commitment to the cause but he has now issued a statement clarifying his position, following speculation he may decide to retire from Test cricket to focus on the shorter formats of the game.
"A lot has been said and written over the past 12 months, and I feel it is time to make my position absolutely clear," he said in a statement.
"Over the past year or so, I have tried to manage many commitments. I have felt mentally and physically tired; my wife and I are bringing up two fantastic kids and playing in all three formats ever since 2004 has taken its toll.
"Together with Cricket South Africa, we have tried to develop a viable schedule which allows me to prolong my career for as long as possible.
"This strategy has prompted some people to say I am picking and choosing when to play for the Proteas, and even to suggest I am somehow putting myself before the team. That is simply not true. That has never been true. Playing for South Africa is, and will always be, the greatest privilege of my life.
"Now to move forward.
"Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the T20 and Test teams, and bearing this in mind, I have informed Cricket South Africa that I would like to step down as captain of the ODI team.
"It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for someone else to take the ODI side forward. Whoever is chosen as the new ODI captain will have my complete support.
"Following this recent break, I really do feel refreshed and revived. I want to get back on the field and I have today assured the national selectors that I will be available for selection in all three formats of the game during the coming season.
"There is plenty of hard work ahead in the nets and I must prepare properly, but I will be ready to play, if required, from the middle of October onwards.
Playing for South Africa is, and will always be, the greatest privilege of my life.
AB de Villiers
"Lastly, if I am lucky enough to be selected, I can't guarantee runs and catches. Nobody can do that. But what I can absolutely guarantee is 100% commitment to the Proteas in every format of the game, as and when required.
"That was my promise when I made my debut in 2004; and that is my promise today."
De Villiers has been ranked as the best batsman in the world for Test and ODI cricket on a number of occasions.
He has scored 8074 runs in 106 Tests at an average of 50.46; 9319 in 222 ODIs at an average of 53.55; as well as 1603 runs in his 76 T20 Internationals with an average of 25.85 and a strike rate of 134.14.