South Africa head coach Mark Boucher has asked ‘free agents’ including AB de Villiers to make themselves available for international selection after the conclusion of IPL to harbour any hopes of T20 World Cup call-up. Also Read - As Captain MS Dhoni Instructs Only When You Fall Short of Ideas, Says Harbhajan Singh
Speculations are swirling around De Villiers’ making a u-turn on his international retirement to give bolster South Africa’s bid for a maiden T20 World Cup triumph later this year in Australia. Also Read - MS Dhoni Will Let Everyone Know When He Thinks It's Time to Retire: Childhood Coach
De Villiers had announced retirement in 2018 but continues to play franchise cricket across the globe including the IPL where he represents Royal Challengers Bangalore. Also Read - IPL | MS Dhoni’s Team Meetings With Chennai Super Kings Weren’t More Than Two Minutes Long: Parthiv Patel
“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,” cricket.com.au quoted Boucher as saying.
He continued, “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.”
With South Africa struggling across formats since their disastrous ODI World Cup campaign in England last year, the team management is trying all options which could help in a successful transition following the retirement of some of their stalwarts in recent times.
South Africa’s next assignment a short tour of India for three ODIs following which they will be in Sri Lanka. The fixtures for their Sri Lankan sojourn are yet to be finalised but in all likeliness will include three ODIs and as many T20Is and could potentially be the stage for De Villiers international comeback.