AB de Villiers coming out of international retirement? That seems to be the latest buzz doing the rounds in South Africa after Mark Boucher, the former wicketkeeper of the team, was appointed as the head coach of the South Africa side ahead of the series against England. Boucher has been appointed as the head coach until 2023 and in this period, the cricketing world will see the 2020 and 2021 World T20s played in Australia and India followed by the 2023 50-over World Cup also in India. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Boucher said he may have conversations with some of the players who are either in retirement or are honouring their Kolpak deals.
"When you go to a World Cup, you want your best players playing for you. If I feel he (De Villiers) is one of your best players, why wouldn't I want to have a conversation with him? I've only just got into the job, I might have conversations with quite a few players and see where they are. You want your best players playing in the World Cup and if there's a couple of issues you need to iron out, with media, with teammates, and if it''s for the good of South Africa, why not, let's do it," Boucher said.
Boucher, who played 147 Tests and 295 ODIs in his 15-year international career, cited the example of how the success of the Springboks, who won the 2019 Rugby World Cup can be used to enhance the team's cricketing fortunes that have taken a beating on the world stage. "If I can answer from a coach''s perspective, absolutely. If you look at rugby, the way the Springboks won the World Cup, the experience they got from players playing overseas was invaluable. From a coach's perspective, I'd love to have the opportunity to deepen and strengthen the squad. It will keep everyone on their toes and will bring more excellence into the game in this country," Boucher said.
De Villiers, considered one of the greatest players ever from South Africa quit international cricket in March last year and has been plying his trade in the franchise-based T20 tournaments around the world. In his playing days, de Villiers holds the record for the fastest fifty, century and 150. Currently, de Villiers is playing for the Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League and has scored 274 runs at a strike-rate of 155. De Villiers will also play for the Brisbane Heat in the upcoming Big Bash League.