Cape Town - In a shock move, AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from all international cricket with immediate effect.
The 34-year-old announced the news on his own app on Wednesday, posting a video to his followers.
The decision comes as a massive blow to the Proteas, who would have been counting on De Villiers at next year's World Cup at the end of May in England.
De Villiers has always been vocal on his dream to win the World Cup, and he bows out of international cricket as one of the greatest players to have represented South Africa, having played 114 Tests, 228 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 78 T20 Internationals.
"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," De Villiers added.
"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.
"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.
"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' records and statistics are a true measure of the skill and brilliance he brought to the crease. He holds a phenomenal number of milestones to his name; the World Record for the fastest ODI 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls), the second highest individual Test score for South Africa (278*), the highest points (935) by a South African on the ICC Test rankings and has claimed the coveted SA Cricketer of the Year award twice (2014 and 2015).
He retires with an incredible Test average of 50.66 and as the fourth-highest run-scorer for South Africa with 8 765 runs (22 centuries). His exploits in the limited-overs formats have been extraordinary, and he finishes as the No 2 ranked player in the world and as the second highest run-scorer behind Jacques Kallis with 9 577 runs at an average of 53.50.