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AB’s offer was too late, says Faf

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The news of De Villiers’s proposal broke out at a critical stage for South Africa, as they had lost their first three games at the World Cup

AB de Villiers approached Proteas captain Faf du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson the day before the SA squad was to be announced, where he offered to come out of retirement for the World Cup. Photo: PA Images

SA captain Faf du Plessis has said that AB De Villiers’s last-minute offer to come out of retirement for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 came in too late to consider.

Speaking after the wash-out against West Indies on Monday Du Plessis revealed that he and his former teammate shared a phonecall during this year’s IPL, where De Villiers told him what was on his mind.

“It was just a conversation, a phonecall the night before the team got announced,” Du Plessis clarified. “I said to him, ‘I think it is too late but I will check in with the coach and the selectors the next morning.’ When I spoke to the coach and the selectors, they all agreed that it was way, way too late to change the team.”

The news of De Villiers’s proposal broke out at a critical stage for South Africa, as they had lost their first three games at the World Cup.

When asked whether the De Villiers saga had impacted his side negatively or had a galvanizing effect, the Proteas skipper gave a candid response.

“I think a little bit of both,” he admitted. “We do feel like the news came in and like went through the team. It didn’t have a huge impact. There was just a discussion on clarity and on making sure everyone knows what’s going on and then it was moving on. The team was happy to get on with business.”

The 34-year-old, however, added that recent turn of events has not affected his bond with De Villiers. “AB and I are still friends,” he explained. “This incident has not changed that.

“This is a small thing for a friendship that goes so way back.”