AB de Villier‘s retirement from all forms of cricket yesterday marked the end of an era. The South African, who had already retired from international cricket took it a step further, and will no longer be playing in the IPL.
Which has got to be sad news for his fans: meaning everybody, but especially the RCB supporters.
Watching AB play was one of the biggest joys of watching the tournament itself as India came to accept him as one of our own over the years.
“ABD, ABD, ABD!”— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) November 19, 2021
This is at Wankhede. In an ODI vs India. This is what you meant to cricket fans.
The game will miss you, @ABdeVilliers17!#ThankYouABDeVilliers
(Video credit: @sumitnawde) pic.twitter.com/RPI4aJoqxC
AB looks at himself as one of us too. In his emotional parting messages to fans, he said:
RCB has changed my life. I think I have become half Indian over the years and I am very proud of that. I absolutely have loved every single second of my journey and I have fallen in love with India as well. That’s never going to change – the day I’m not here on the earth anymore I will be half-Indian, half-South African.
He also showed dejection over the fact that RCB couldn’t win a trophy while he was playing for the team but assured people that he is going nowhere.
I know I am not going anywhere, I’m going to be an RCBian for life…some people come & go, but the spirit & the love we have for each other at RCB will always remain. I have had an incredible time over there, I know we haven’t won a trophy but I truly believe there are plenty more to come in the future. I’ve become half Indian now and I’m proud of that.
Not many people have had the impact on the game like AB did. It was indeed a pleasure to watch him play from the other side. Happy retirement AB, best wishes to and your family @ABdeVilliers17— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) November 20, 2021
A modern day legend! Good luck for your second innings, @ABdeVilliers17 😊— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) November 19, 2021
As if letting him go wasn’t difficult already. You can listen to his full speech here:
“I’m going to be an RCBian for life. Every single person in the RCB set-up has become family to me. People come & go, but the spirit & the love we have for each other at RCB will always remain. I’ve become half Indian now & I’m proud of that.” – @ABdeVilliers17 #ThankYouAB pic.twitter.com/5b6RUYfjDY— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) November 19, 2021