When AB de Villiers announced his surprise retirement from international cricket in May, he left the question of playing overseas in any form vague. De Villiers has now confirmed that the IPL will be part of his post-international retirement plans, while reiterating that he also hopes to play for his domestic franchise, Titans, for a while.
“I will keep on playing IPL for a few years, and I would like to play for the Titans, and help some of the youngsters. But there are no set plans. I haven’t been able to say that for a long time,” de Villiers told iol.co.za. “There are some offers on the table from around the world, but it will be nice to wake up and wonder what to do; to be normal.”
When he had retired, de Villiers had stated he had “no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket”, likely referring to taking up a Kolpak deal the way several of his South African team-mates did.
The timing of his retirement also meant that de Villiers would end his career without a World Cup winner’s medal, but he said he had made peace with that fact.
“For a long time, the World Cup was a massive goal,” de Villiers said. “But, in the last few years, I have realised that it isn’t realistic to measure yourself purely on what you achieve in that tournament. That will not be the be-all and end-all of my career.
“Yes, I would have loved to win it, but I have great memories from World Cups. The 2007 tournament – my first – was very special. We fell short against Australia, when we tried to play too much cricket too soon, but that shift in mentality probably helped us to go over there and win the Test series we then won over there. Personally, I scored my first ODI century in that 2007 tournament, and I loved the whole experience of being in the Caribbean.
“The same goes for the others, in 2011 and in 2015. India has always been close to my heart, because of the passion for cricket, and then obviously 2015 was an amazing game,” he further said about the classic semi-final against New Zealand in which South Africa fell agonisingly short. “We fell on the wrong side of it, but we gave it everything.”
De Villiers said that his decision to retire was made simpler when he accepted that the World Cup wouldn’t define his career, and that he didn’t want to pick and choose when he would be playing for South Africa in an effort to carry on until the 2019 event.
“I guess that once I acknowledged to myself that I didn’t have to measure my career on one tournament, place so much emphasis on it, it became easier to make my decision,” he said. “I also didn’t want to be picking and choosing my way through fixtures from now until then. It wouldn’t be fair.”