The man who redefined cricket techniques and reached perfection in all forms of international cricket, AB de Villiers announced his retirement yesterday. Defining outstanding cricketing, he has been the inspiration to many people.
There have been such marvelous players like Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Virendra Sehwag, Mr. Adam Gilchrist, Mr. Saurav Gangly, Mr. Brendon McCullum and Mr. AB de Villiers. He managed to secure his name with these legends making his own identity. With his athletic personality and dedication towards the game, he became Mr. 360 who could hit any ball in any direction of the field.
He represented South Africa and is one of the most loved players all across the world. Indians look at ABD as the man who has thrashed the most unexpected shots, gets the most amazing catches and has been the one to hit the most stunning sixes. Even if it’s India vs South Africa World Cup Finals, when ABD comes to bat the entire crowd
chants “ABD, ABD”. That’s the kind of love he has gained from people where they forget the competition and admire the rigorous knocks of Mr. 360.
If we go down the memory lane, this is why ABD is so special and why we will remember him as The 360 degree Man:
He holds the record for the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in ODI History, all against West Indies.
He shares the World Record of the most number of sixes in a ODI innings with Rohit Sharma and Chris Gayle.
He stunningly is the only batsman to average 50 plus in ODI’s in seven continuous calendar years from 2009-2015.
He has scored the most runs and centuries for South Africa in the World Cups with 1207 runs from 22 innings at 63.52.
Well, these are just the tip of the iceberg. People who have witnessed ABD batting or fielding or wicket keeping know that his excellence is beyond statistics and figures.
We cannot compile his dedication, talent and sportsman spirit in these records. He has set his own limits by winning not only matches but also the hearts of people around the world. He announced his retirement by saying, “ After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20’s, it is time for others to take over. I’ve had my turn and to be honest, I’m tired.”
His sudden retirement left fans all over the world in a shock. We will no more witness ABD on the field with that positive and confident attitude towards the game. Indeed, as fans we all want him to continue playing but then we need to respect his decision.
It is an emotional moment for all cricket fans who have been lucky to watch him reframe the concepts of cricket. His bat rotated in every direction of the field, producing the most stunning and unexpected shots that left us dumbstruck. It was a show called the ABD Show when he batted on the field.
The legend of cricket, Mr. Sachin Tendulkar said, “ To Play a reverse sweep of a fast bowler, nobody had imagined. But AB de Villiers played it.”
The man who won hearts all through his shining cricket career will be missed by the entire cricket fraternity. He may not have any ICC Trophy to his credit as a captain, but he has the highest honor of being loved and adored by the world.
He has the honor of breaking competition in cricket and bringing people together, chanting for players and not countries. For when he played, there was no India or South Africa. It was only “ABD”.