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AB de Villiers: The Master of Contradiction

A B De Villiers, South Africa, West Indies, CPL, Caribbean Premier League, Barbados Tridents
Weeks after confirming that he wants to reduce his workload, AB de Villiers has signed up to play for the Barbados Tridents in the 2016 Caribbean Premier League starting July.

 

Prior to and during the recent Test series loss to England, there were rumours swirling that AB de Villiers  was going to retire from Tests amid concerns about his workload and a dissatisfaction with the South African system. De Villiers was forced to keep wicket in tests when Quinton de Kock injured his ankle last summer and Dane Villas turned out to be well below the required standard.

De Villiers did not deny the rumours. In fact, he went on to indicate that there was some truth to them suggesting he would like to retire from certain formats to keep himself fresh. However two Tests into the series, Hashim Amla stepped down as captain. AB de Villiers was offered and gladly accepted the job which he had previously coveted after Graeme Smith retired. This in itself was a bit of a surprise as captaincy would only increase his responsibility and workload. Even as captain, De Villiers would continue to put his foot in his mouth, referencing James Anderson in uncomplimentary terms who would then subsequently dismiss him for nought in the final innings of the fourth and final Test.

It seemed for a while that the uncertainty surrounding De Villiers international future had ended. However it soon emerged that Caribbean Premier League side Barbados Tridents had signed AB de Villiers as their marquee player for the 2016 season. He reasoned that he was not going to miss a single international game and playing the CPL was ‘finding a balance’ between the international arena and T20 leagues.

Here’s the paradox: During his retirement rumours, De Villiers was quoted, “If I play all the IPL games the whole season, I do get a bit tired towards the end of the season.” Incidentally the CPL immediately follows the IPL and it is safe to assume that De Villiers will play every game for the Royal Challengers Bangalore barring injury.

De Villiers seems to be getting into the habit of contradicting himself. Like a pendulum he sways both sides of every argument, in statement and action. It arguable doesn’t bode well for his long-term future with the South African national side.

 

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