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South Africa chief selector Linda Zondi has revealed the reasons why Ab de Villiers did not participate in the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
AB retired from international cricket in 2017 but continued in the franchise leagues. Zondi disclosed that he urged de Villiers several times but the wicket-keeper batter refused his proposal. However, he declined the request of AB when he wanted to return as it would have been unfair for the other members.
"When AB took a break [in 2017], he didn't share the information with me. I contacted him and said I wasn't happy with what you have done and he apologised. Then there was the World Cup, which was a massive story,” Zondi said.
“Faf du Plessis came to me and said AB would like to be included in the World Cup. I turned it down because AB had earlier come to me and said he wanted to retire and I told him [then] we need you in the World Cup in England. If there are certain series you miss, we can work with that. I said I am happy to manage your time and you can retire after the World Cup. He said no, he wants to retire. Then, Faf came that AB wanted to return. I turned it down. I thought it was unethical to the players who were part of the squad,” he added.
Zondi also provided more detail on the case of Khaya Zondo, whose non-selection has become a central concept of the complications of selection in South Africa over the years.
Former selector Hussein Manack has claimed that de Villiers blocked Zondo's selection for an ODI against India.
"What happened on the day was, because I wasn't there, the selector on tour became the final decision-maker. I'm glad Hussein came and confessed that he had pressure put on him. I was clear with him that I was very unhappy with the decision," Zondi said.