Boucher gives AB deadline for Proteas comeback

AB de Villiers (Getty Images)
AB de Villiers (Getty Images)

Proteas coach Mark Boucher has hinted that former star batsman AB de Villiers could make his international comeback in June.

It's no secret that discussions between De Villiers, Boucher and Cricket South Africa's Director of Cricket Graeme Smith have been taking place.

Since his retirement from all forms of international cricket in 2018, De Villiers remains one of the most popular cricketers in the world.

The 36-year-old has since travelled around the world competing in various T20 leagues.

While competing at this year's Big Bash League, De Villiers admitted that he would love to come out of retirement and play in October's T20 World Cup.

De Villiers, who's been out of action since January, hasn't made himself available for the Proteas since declaring his interest for a possible return.

Speaking at a Standard Bank sponsor event in Bloemfontein, Boucher gave the likes of De Villiers, spinner Imran Tahir and Chris Morris a deadline of June 1 to make themselves available for the national team.

"The big one is the IPL (Indian Premier League) so we decided to let those guys do the IPL and then afterwards make themselves available," Boucher said, as quoted by the website.

"From June 1, 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," he said.

The Proteas are scheduled to tour Sri Lanka in June for three ODIs and three T20Is.

Tahir, who hasn't played for the Proteas since July last year, has made himself unavailable for national selection while playing in the Pakistan Super League.

Morris, who was bought for R20m for this year's IPL, most recently played in Australia's Big Bash League last month.

Meanwhile, Boucher's charges are leading 1-0 in the three-match ODI series against Australia with the second ODI set for Bloemfontein on Wednesday (13:00).

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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