'I would have picked AB': G-Dog disagrees with CSA decision
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'I would have picked AB': G-Dog disagrees with CSA decision

Cricket South Africa have defended their decision to not select AB de Villiers for the Cricket World Cup.

AB-de-Villiers-AFP
MARCO LONGARI / AFP

Take a listen to G-Dog talk about AB De Villiers, or read the details under the podcast.

News broke on Thursday that AB de Villiers had expressed his desire to come out of retirement and be considered for selection for the global showpiece.

The veteran batsman announced his retirement from international cricket in May last year, but has continued to feature in T20 competitions around the world over the past 12 months.

Cricket South Africa's National Selection Panel convenor Linda Zondi addressed the recent media statements in a press release on Thursday – which I covered in a post earlier.

Zondi claims that he had urged De Villiers not to retire, but reduce his load in an effort to stay fit and fresh for the global showpiece in England and Wales.

“For Faf du Plessis and Ottis Gibson to share AB’s desire to be included in the squad on the day we announced our World Cup squad on April 18th was a shock to all of us. AB left a big vacuum when he retired, we had a year to find players at franchise level to fill the gap. We had players who put in the hard work, who put up their hands and deserved to be given the opportunity to go to the World Cup. The decision was based on principle; we had to be fair to the team, the selection panel, our franchise system and players.”

I would have picked AB

I completely understand Zondi’s reasoning behind CSA’s decisio, but I’m going to put my neck out there and say that I probably would have conceded to AB’s request to be selected.

While the veteran chose to walk away from South African cricket and has not contributed to the Proteas’ cause for over a year, he has afforded himself the chance to rest and recuperate while playing in certain competitions.

A quick look at his most recent stats from the IPL shows that he still has the quality to perform at the highest level. AB scored five 50s in 13 games at an average of 44.20, a reminder that he can put together quickfire 50s when he’s at his best.

When AB walked away from international cricket, he seemed jaded from the years of constant travel and time spent away from his family. Over the past 12 months, he’s probably had a lot of time for introspection and it’s completely understandable that he fancied one last crack at a Cricket World Cup.

I’ve often thought about AB and where he stood with the Proteas management and their plans for the World Cup. I was secretly hoping that he would decide to come back and would be welcomed with open arms.

Sadly, that hasn’t happened.

After three losses in a row, it’s hard not to imagine what sort of a difference AB could have made with the bat, not to mention his experience as skipper over the past few years.

Hats off to the veteran though, who has called on South Africans to look past these latest headlines and get behind the Proteas' World Cup campaign.

Should the selectors have taken AB de Villiers back for the Cricket World Cup or do you believe that once you’ve retired, you’ve retired? 

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