De Villiers: I haven't retired from Test cricket

20 May, 2017, 09:47 | Author: Eloise Marshall
  • England have gone from 'rock bottom' to Champions Trophy favourites, says AB De Villiers

De Villiers was speaking ahead of South Africa's three match ODI series against England set to begin next week.

While South Africa are in the same boat as England, whereby they have yet to win the World Cup, De Villiers pointed out that he is eager to replicate his country's Champions Trophy triumph in the inaugural edition of the competition in 1998.

South Africa are now top of the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings but will be facing an England side who have lost only one series at home, a 3-2 defeat by world champions Australia, since their embarrassing first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup.

"I made some important decisions for my life and career in the past year or so in order for me to have the best chance of winning trophies and being part of a successful team", de Villiers said in Hove on Thursday ahead of South Africa's tour opener against Sussex on Friday. Cricket South Africa (CSA) does languish behind when it comes to paying their players in comparison to Australia and England. Seeking to correct the anomaly, the star batsman said he's desperate to end the drought and will go to any extent to correct South Africa's poor record in global tournaments.

South Africa captain AB de Villiers believes England all-rounder Ben Stokes has taken his game to the "next level" in the Indian Premier League but stressed the tournament had improved many of his players too. I ve got a good feeling about this one. "I've got a good feeling about this one", he said talking about the upcoming Champions Trophy.

While he returned to limited-overs cricket for the Proteas in February, he opted out of the Test series in New Zealand in March - an absence he has since extended to the four-Test tour of England in July-August and the succeeding two Tests against Bangladesh.

"I missed a couple of matches at the IPL and I am not planning to miss any games for South Africa". De Villiers earned around 1.5 million Euros this year playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

But he also didn't rule out fighting for a place in Test cricket again. "I made some important decisions for my life and career in the previous year or so in order for me to have the best chance of winning trophies and being part of a successful team", de Villiers said in Hove on Thursday (May 18), on the eve of of South Africa's first practice match, a 50-over encounter against Sussex. "The decision was to play a bit less". "It's a very nice way for us to warm up and get ready for a big one-day tournament", de Villiers said about their short tour of England. "Ben Stokes definitely lifted his game and I think it would have done him the world of good", de Villiers opined.

"I'm feeling fresh, feeling 100%, and looking forward to playing this series and then the tournament", he added.



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