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AB de Villiers needs to return for Sri Lanka series to be considered for World Cup

Cricket South Africa have set a deadline for AB de Villiers to make himself available to the national team if he wants to be considered for the T20 World Cup in October. While the maestro was expected to be back for the Australian series, he wasn’t available.

Now Mark Boucher, head coach of the South African side, has announced that June 1 – when South Africa play Sri Lanka in a limited-overs series – as the deadline for de Villiers to make himself available to the Proteas if he wants to play the World Cup. 

De Villiers had retired from international cricket in 2018 but after a regiment change in administration, is pondering a return. He has been in discussions with CSA director Graeme Smith and head coach Mark Boucher about making a comeback for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Boucher indicated that the deadline also applies to T20 mercenaries, Chris Morris and Imran Tahir, who are both not retired from T20Is but unavailable for selection right now. 

“The big one is the IPL so we decided to let those guys – the free agents, if you want to call them that – do the IPL and then afterwards make themselves available,” Boucher said at a Standard Bank sponsor’s event in Bloemfontein. “We’ve still got quite a few games before the World Cup.

“From the first of June, which is the Sri Lanka tour, those guys need to make themselves available. Whether we select them is another story. But they need to make themselves available if they want to put their hands up for a World Cup spot.”

“Like I said from the beginning, I want to have the best players available,” the coach told. “If AB is willing, his form is good and he makes himself available when we want him, then he has to go to the T20 World Cup if he’s the best player in his position.

“It’s not about egos, it’s about sending your best team to the T20 World Cup to give yourself a chance to win the tournament.”


Rohit Sankar is a freelance cricket journalist stuck in a love-hate live-in relationship with the game. To rile him up, mention the 1999 World Cup semi-final. Rohit has been writing about cricket for well over 10 years now, and has written for a variety of news and sports outlets over this time.

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