Southampton - Former Pakistan star Shoaib Akhtar accused former Proteas star batsman AB de Villiers of putting money over his country.

It has emerged that De Villiers contacted Proteas coach Ottis Gibson and South Africa captain Faf du Plessis to tell them he was willing to come out of retirement.

But it was agreed that De Villiers, who retired from international cricket last year, had left it too late to be called up because it would not have been fair to other players who had featured against Pakistan and Sri Lanka ahead of the World Cup.

De Villiers' offer had remained under wraps until after South Africa's World Cup campaign plunged into crisis with a third successive defeat against India on Wednesday.

"Firstly, people must not forget that there was pressure on AB de Villiers to leave IPL and PSL contracts and make himself available for the World Cup. However, he chose the IPL and PSL, announced an early retirement and recused himself from the World Cup," Akhtar said in a video posted on YouTube.

"So basically everything started with finance. I think when he took this decision, he did it looking at his finances and economics.

"I think he should have remembered that his country needs him. The money will come today or tomorrow but you make the call of making money and ignore the World Cup."

READ: Ottis looks for AB saga to spark struggling Proteas

With rumours swirling that Gibson will leave his role as South Africa coach after the World Cup, the current crisis on the field and the De Villiers issue off it threaten to cast a shadow over his reign.

Gibson admitted it was annoying to be bombarded with questions on the subject before such an important World Cup match.

"I was thinking to myself, because since he's retired we've won every series that we've played, and I haven't had many AB questions.

"Suddenly we've come to the World Cup and we've had one bad week, and AB is the saviour, but the guy is retired, he's made his decision, and we have to live with the decision that he's made."