Boucher on AB returning to Proteas fold: 'He is always in discussions'

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AB de Villiers (Gallo)
AB de Villiers (Gallo)
  • Proteas coach Mark Boucher has revealed that former star batsman AB de Villiers will always be part of the selection discussion when he is playin good cricket.
  • De Villiers has been in the headlines about making a possible return to the Proteas set-up after retiring from international cricket in 2018.
  • Boucher says he'll have a conversation with De Villiers on his possible selection closer to next year's T20 World Cup.

Proteas coach Mark Boucher believes former star batsman AB de Villiers will remain part of the discussion in terms of selection "when he is playing good cricket".

De Villiers called time on his illustrious Proteas career in 2018 after playing 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20s.

Reports emerged last year that De Villiers wanted to come out of retirement and play for the Proteas at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England.

A return never materialised but De Villiers continued to make headlines following his stellar T20 performances around the world.

Boucher admitted that De Villiers was in line for a possible selection before the nationwide lockdown but those discussions have been put on hold.

"AB was in discussions before Covid, he is always in discussions when he is playing good cricket, to be honest with you," Boucher told reporters in a Zoom press conference on Thursday.

"Going forward I haven't had a discussion with him at all, he has been playing in the IPL. He had a very good IPL too."

De Villiers had another stellar Indian Premier League campaign, scoring 454 runs at an average of 45.40 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

READ | Proteas selection chief Mpitsang: 'I respect AB's decision to retire'

De Villiers has made it publicly clear that he would be willing to return to the national set-up.

However, the T20 World Cup was rescheduled to October next year due to the coronavirus pandemic and there's doubt whether De Villiers will now come out of retirement.

Boucher confirmed that he'll get in touch with De Villiers closer to the global showpiece.

"We'll see closer to the time at the World Cup, I will probably have a conversation with him and see where he is at and that's an open conversation that everyone will know as well. I've never hidden behind the fact that we have spoken to him," said Boucher.

If the Proteas require De Villiers' services, then Boucher sees no reason not to have a discussion with the player.

"I still believe he is one of the best players in the world and he showed it in the IPL. If he is a good value to bring into the Proteas set-up, then I stand by what I said before that I want to have a conversation with him."

Boucher is currently preparing his Proteas charges as they take on England in three T20s and three ODIs behind-closed-doors.

The first T20 is scheduled to get underway at Newlands next Friday (27 November).

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