Cape Town - Former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs has slammed AB de Villiers on his decision to pick and choose when to play Test cricket.
De Villiers, who last played in a Test more than 19 months ago, was sorely missed in the batting order as the Proteas suffered a 3-1 series defeat in England, their first Test series loss in the UK since 1998.
The 33-year-old decided in January this year to take a sabbatical from the longest format in order to preserve his body for limited-overs cricket.
On Thursday after arriving home from their disappointing English tour, Proteas Test skipper Faf du Plessis stated that De Villiers has "earned the right to do whatever he wants to".
Gibbs replied via Twitter to Du Plessis' comments in an article posted on Sport24 disagreeing that "no captain should put a player on a pedestal".
Gibbs also referred to Jacques Kallis, who is arguably one of the greatest all-rounders in the game, and how Kallis achieved more than De Villiers but didn't disrespect the game like former team-mate.
Interesting article this..captain putting a player on a pedestal! Never thought I'd see this..anyway pic.twitter.com/F6u17j0sVD— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
Kallis achieved more than ab ever will but he kept on playing and never disrespected the team and the game.remember that— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
Has nothing to with administrators..that's the national captain speaking! Did smith ever say kallis could do that? and he achieved more— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
Kallis achieved more than ab ever will,played longer than him to..he made his decision to retire on his own not keep anybody hanging.— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
Former Proteas batsman and current Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince agreed with Gibbs' comment, writing on Twitter that it would be interesting to see whether Hashim Amla would also be allowed to act the same as De Villiers.
He, Smith did recently say AB could do whatever he wants to. There must be a tipping point where players become bigger than the Nation.?? https://t.co/NxULmKtEGy— Ashwell Prince (@ashyp_5) August 11, 2017
De Villiers said that he planned to meet up with Cricket South Africa in August after the completion of the England tour to "make a final decision about what happens for the next few years".
Since making his debut in 2004, De Villiers has scored 8 074 runs in 106 Tests - including 21 hundreds - at an average of 50.46.