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De Villiers: Never wanted to drop Rabada from any team


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Former South African captain AB de Villiers has denied claims that he asked for Kagiso Rabada's to be dropped from the Test team at the start of the pacer's career.

Former South African selector Hussein Manack has given a testimony at the Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN)  alleging the selections were made along racial lines when AB DeVilliers was the captain of South Africa.

However, De Villiers has repudiated the matter instead hailed Rabada as one of the finest bowlers in the cricket world.

“I have never wanted KG dropped from any team at any time. The idea is ridiculous. He is one of the finest bowlers in world cricket,” De Villiers was quoted as saying while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.

During his testimony, Manack spoke about De Villiers’ role in the entire case on Khaya Zondo when the latter didn’t get to play a single game on the 2015 tour of India. But the Rabada case, centred around the Wanderers Test against England in 2015-16, has not been publicly aired before.

“I had been to the practice the day before, and a decision had to be made between playing Kyle Abbott and Hardus Viljoen. A discussion at practice took place, and they [the team management] said we must drop KG [Rabada],” said Manack.

“I asked on what basis. Rabada was 20-years-old, and he hadn’t established himself as a great player. But having seen him at the Lions, where he was coming through, I had seen a lot of him. He had a good enough reputation. There was a cricketing explanation that maybe the ball wasn’t coming out of his hand right,” he added.

Rabada went on to pick up a five-wicket haul in that game, followed by a career-best 13/144 in the next game.