CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — AB de Villiers won’t be coming out of international retirement for the Twenty20 World Cup in India this year despite discussions over the possibility, Cricket South Africa said Tuesday.

Those discussions “have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all that his retirement will remain final,” CSA said.

De Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 while still at the top of his game but has been linked numerous times with a return to the South Africa team. He made a last-minute offer to come out of retirement for the 2019 50-over World Cup but South Africa decided against including him, saying he made himself available too late.

Current South African head coach Mark Boucher, a former teammate of de Villiers, was open to considering the 37-year-old de Villiers for selection for the T20 World Cup in October and November. De Villiers had also said he was interested. But Tuesday’s announcement appeared to end any chance of a comeback.

De Villiers was in blistering form in this year’s Indian Premier League before it was suspended because of the surge in coronavirus cases in India, with 207 runs from six innings and an average of 51.75 for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

He was one of South Africa’s greatest batsmen across all formats and ended his international career as his country’s fourth-highest run-scorer in tests and second-highest in both one-day internationals and T20s.

South Africa will begin its preparations for the World Cup with T20 series in West Indies and Ireland in June and July.


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