AB de Villiers has played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, and 78 T20Is for South Africa.
South Africa legend AB de Villiers recently revealed the reason behind his early retirement from international cricket and said he played the last two years of his career with a detached retina. The former Proteas skipper announced his retirement from international cricket in 2018. However, he continued to play in franchise-based Twenty20 leagues, notably for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier Leagues (IPL). Now, more than two years after his professional match at the 2021 IPL, de Villiers told Wisden Cricket Monthly the reason behind his retirement. He disclosed that his youngest child accidentally kicked him in the eye, leading to a detached retina and compelling him to play with impaired vision in one eye.
"My youngster accidentally kicked me on my eye with his heel. I started really losing vision in the right eye," the former South Africa captain told the publication.
"When I got the surgery done the doctor actually asked me, 'How in the world did you play cricket like this?'. Luckily my left eye did a decent job for the last two years of my career," he added.
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Further, de Villiers said Covid played an important role in why he didn't reverse his international retirement. He revealed that the 2015 semifinal World Cup loss hurt him big time and it took him a while to get over it.
"Covid certainly played a role, there's no doubt about it. From an international perspective, that 2015 World Cup hurt big time. It took me a while to get over that and then, when I got back into the side and I was ready to commit, I didn't feel the same culture that I really needed at that time," he said.
"I often found myself thinking, I don't know, eh? Could this be the end of my career? I didn't even really want to play IPL or anything else. I got away from everything in 2018 and then decided to push one more time with a bit of Test cricket, to try and beat India and Australia over here, and then I'll call it. I didn't want any spotlight on me. I just wanted to say, 'I had a great time, thank you very much'," the South Africa legend added.
Notably, AB de Villiers has played 114 Tests, 228 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 78 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for South Africa. He scored 8765 runs in Tests and 9577 runs in 228 ODIs.