De Villiers needs to prove himself for World Cup spot: Boucher

Soon after taking charge as the Proteas head coach in December last year, Boucher said he may try to persuade a few recent retirees, including de Villiers

AB De Villiers, Mark Boucher, South Africa, Faf du Plessis, T20 World Cup
Soon after taking charge as the Proteas head coach in December last year, Boucher said he may try to persuade a few recent retirees, including de Villiers. File Photo: PTI

South African hitman AB de Villiers, who took retirement last year, will be considered for a place in the T20 World Cup squad provided he shows good form and proves himself to be the “best man for the job”, says the team’s head coach Mark Boucher.

Soon after taking charge as the Proteas head coach in December last year, Boucher said he may try to persuade a few recent retirees, including de Villiers, to return to the South Africa squad ahead of the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October-November.

“He’s (de Villiers) a discussion in the media and in the public but he is no discussion for me. I have had chats with him and we will probably know pretty soon what’s going to happen with him,” Boucher said after South Africa’s 1-2 defeat to England in the just-concluded three-match T20 series at home.

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Related news: Proteas skipper Faf Du Plessis wants AB de Villiers back in squad

“Like I said from day one when I took over, if we are going to a World Cup, I would like to have our best players there. If AB is in good form and he is raring to go and he makes himself available for the time we have asked him to be available; if he is the best man for the job, then he must go,” he added.

Boucher said “ego” would not come in the way of taking de Villiers back, whose previous request for a comeback before last year’s ODI World Cup was turned down by the then team management and the national selectors.

Related news: New South Africa coach ready to talk AB de Villiers out of retirement

“It’s not about egos or anything like that, it’s about sending your best team to the World Cup to try and win that competition,” he added.

Former skipper Faf Du Plessis in December said that talks had begun aimed at getting the Proteas run-machine to come out of retirement.

Responding to Boucher’s comment that he would welcome having the 36-year-old, who retired from all international cricket in May 2018,  in his team, the ex-captain said, “Those conversations have been happening two or three months ago.”

Related news: Du Plessis resigns as South Africa captain, de Kock to take charge

(With inputs from agencies)

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