Cape Town - Dale Steyn says South Africans should respect AB de Villiers’ decision to retire from international cricket.
De Villiers shocked the cricket fraternity by retiring in May, citing fatigue and stating that it was the "right time" to call time on his 14-year international cricket career.
Fast bowler Steyn spoke exclusively to Sport24 this week in which he gave explained why he felt De Villiers called it a day.
“I believe AB doesn’t deserve to get a bad rap. Even though we both made our Test debuts in 2004, him and I are in two completely different boats. He is married with children and I only have dogs. Family time is a big pull for him right now. We spend on average 220 days of the year out of the country. It’s a long time to be away from your family especially when your children are growing up,” Steyn said.
Steyn added that De Villiers “is a phenomenal player” but added: “The pleasing aspect is the Proteas have managed to win without him. It’s nice that the circle (of talent) is getting bigger and there is hope for the future. Calling time on his international career has also given AB time to recover from a physical point of view. His back had been giving him trouble for so many years. Through sheer pride of representing South Africa he pushed on.”
The 34-year-old De Villiers still expects to take part in IPL and other T20 leagues for a few years.
Since appearing on the international stage in 2004, De Villiers scored 8 765 runs in 114 Tests with 22 centuries (average 50.66), 9 577 runs in 228 ODIs with 25 centuries and 1 672 runs in 78 T20Is with 10 half-centuries.
READ: Dale Steyn’s full Q&A interview with Sport24