Years after his international retirement in 2018, South African legend AB de Villiers has made shocking revealations about why had opted to retire from the highest form of the game at 34 years of age. Notably, the Protean batter was plying his trade for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in May 2018 which was when he announced the decision to step down as an international cricketer.
In a shocking claim, De Villiers said that he actually played the last few years of his international cricket with a detached retina.
“My youngster accidentally kicked me on my eye with his heel. I started really losing vision in the right eye. When I got the surgery done the doctor actually asked me, ‘How in the world did you play cricket like this?’. Luckily my left eye did a decent job for the last two years of my career,” De Villiers told Wisden Cricket Monthly.
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The South African batter disclosed that in the two years in the buildup to him announcing his retirment from all form of cricket including the IPL, he was not aware about the same.
“Covid certainly played a role, there’s no doubt about it. From an international perspective, the 2015 World Cup hurt big time. It took me a while to get over that and then, when I got back into the side and I was ready to commit, I didn’t feel the same culture that I really needed at that time,” he said.
“I often found myself thinking, I don’t know, eh? Could this be the end of my career? I didn’t even really want to play IPL or anything else. I got away from everything in 2018 and then decided to push one more time with a bit of Test cricket, to try and beat India and Australia over here, and then I’ll call it. I didn’t want any spotlight on me. I just wanted to say, ‘I had a great time, thank you very much’,” he stated.