Proteas

Bacher backs AB's decision to take a break

AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former South Africa skipper Ali Bacher has commended AB de Villiers' decision to manage his workload with a view to featuring in the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Bacher believes the decision is the best thing for De Villiers and for South African cricket.

The former administrator told ESPNcricinfo: "AB is an extraordinary individual and the amount of cricket he has played has taken its toll on his body. If he had to play all formats, his body will break down.

"He has made a wise decision to go about things cautiously and get his body ready to take on the world again."

South Africa have suffered World Cup heartache over and over again since their first participation in 1992 which was ended by a bizarre rain rule in the semi-finals and Bacher believes this is driving De Villiers.

He would add: "He is extremely passionate about South African cricket and about winning that World Cup.

Bacher also believes that De Villiers will slot straight back into the Test team once fit adding: "He is one of the greats and I would think that, when he is fit and ready, he will be an automatic pick."

De Villiers has played a tremendous amount of cricket since making his debut 12 years ago including a stretch where he played every Test South Africa featured in for an incredible 98 matches.

Bacher spoke of the rigours of Test cricket: "It is vigorous. The practice schedule and the playing. And he has been going like this since 2004. He has done so much and if he is not wise he will break down again. I have seen no difference in the way he feels about playing for South Africa."

Bacher spoke to De Villiers for the TV show In Conversation and read out a message to the man from legend Sachin Tendulkar who holds the SA great in high regard.

He added: "I got hold of Sachin Tendulkar, who was my first interviewee for the show in 2010, and I asked him to send me a few words about AB. He holds AB in such regard for the way he has changed the context of the modern game. AB is a special person and a special cricketer. South Africa must not forget that."

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