You can’t blame AB de Villiers for his breath-takingly egocentric last minute bid to play in the World Cup – he’s just continuing to explore what’s possible in cricket

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AB de Villiers (via Sky Sports)

That image above is AB de Villiers punching a drive exactly where he wants it to go while batting with a stump. You don’t need to have tried to bat with a stump to know that this is a difficult thing to do. Bats are narrow. Stumps are narrower.

It is not the most ridiculous shot AB de Villiers has ever played. Not even close. It is just an indication of what all the ridiculous shots are built on.

One time, against the West Indies, AB de Villiers made 149 off 44 balls. Another time, against Australia, he batted for a draw and made 33 off 220 balls.

As a cricketer, AB de Villiers likes to explore the realms of possibility.

Yesterday Cricinfo reported that de Villiers had asked to come out of international retirement the day before South Africa named their World Cup squad.

De Villiers has a complex relationship with international retirement. It is quite hard to follow the timeline of when he has and hasn’t been available in the various formats in recent years. He first went part-time in January 2016, while he was technically captain. “I’m just going to waltz back into the side whenever I feel like it from now on,” he may or may not have said at that time.

After endless ins and outs and maybes and maybe nots, de Villiers eventually made a statement in October of last year. “It will be very selfish and arrogant of me to throw statements around that I’m keen to play a World Cup,” he said.

It seemed clear enough. But then do you see the mistake you made? You concluded that it would be impossible for someone who said those words to do the very thing that they themselves had observed would make them “very selfish and arrogant.”

AB de Villiers doesn’t believe in impossibilities.


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