South Africa’s run-machine AB de Villiers might return to the national squad ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup as the newly-appointed head coach Mark Boucher has expressed his ideas to persuade a few recent retirees.
The Proteas got their new head coach until 2023 in Boucher on Saturday (December 14) as the team heads towards their biggest assignments of performing at the T20 World Cup in Australia, which is 10 months away.
“When you go to the World Cup, you want your best players playing for you. If I feel he (De Villiers) is one of your best players, why wouldn’t I want to have a conversation with him? I’ve only just got into the job, I might have conversations with quite a few players and see where they are,” Boucher was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“You want your best players playing in the World Cup and if there’s a couple of issues you need to iron out, with media, with teammates, and if it’s for the good of South Africa, why not, let’s do it,” he said.
Considered one of the greatest players that South Africa has ever produced, former skipper De Villiers quit international cricket in March last year and has been plying his trade in the franchise-based T20 tournaments around the world.
Boucher said South Africa will need their best players to compete at the T20 World Cup and he would welcome the availability of players through the Kolpak deal, which allows cricketers to play in any European Union country without being considered an overseas player.
“If I can answer from a coach’s perspective, absolutely. If you look at rugby, the way the Springboks won the World Cup, the experience they got from players playing overseas was invaluable,” he said.
“From a coach’s perspective, I’d love to have the opportunity to deepen and strengthen the squad. It will keep everyone on their toes and will bring more excellence into the game in this country.”
(With inputs from agencies)