AB de Villiers on Friday announced his retirement from all formats of cricket, effectively ending his association with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). (More Cricket News)
South Africa wicketkeeper-batter, who began his RCB career in 2011, enjoyed 10 seasons, being a crucial part of five playoff runs in his time. AB de Villiers made immense contributions to RCB and will go down as one of the greatest players in the team’s history.
Speaking about the decision to call it a day, AB de Villiers in a statement said, "I have had a long and fruitful time playing for RCB. Eleven years have just whizzed by and leaving the boys is extremely bittersweet. Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time, but after a lot of contemplation, I’ve decided to hang up my boots and spend quality time with my family.
"I would like to thank the RCB management, my friend Virat Kohli, teammates, coaches, support staff, fans, and the entire RCB family for showing faith and supporting me all through these years. It has been a memorable journey with RCB. Have so many memories on the personal front to cherish for the lifetime. RCB will always be very close to me and my family and will continue to support this amazing team. I am a RCBian forever.”
AB de Villiers, who had already retired from international cricket, took to Instagram and thanked everyone.
View this post on Instagram
"It has been an incredible journey, but I have decided to retire from all cricket.
"Ever since the back yard matches with my older brothers, I have played the game with pure enjoyment and unbridled enthusiasm. Now, at the age of 37, that flame no longer burns so brightly. That’s the reality I must accept - and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement today. I’ve had my time.
"Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Whether playing for the Titans, or the Proteas, or RCB, or around the world, the game has given me unimagined experiences and opportunities, and I will always be grateful.
"I would like to thank every teammate, every opponent, every coach, every physio and every staff member who has travelled the same path, and I am humbled by the support I have received in South Africa, in India, wherever I have played.
"Last, I am aware that nothing would have been possible without the sacrifices made by my family - my parents, my brothers, my wife Danielle and my children. I look forward to the next chapter of our lives when I can truly put them first," AB de Villiers concluded.
AB de Villiers has played 156 matches for RCB and scored 4,491 runs. He is the second all-time leading run scorer behind his former captain Virat Kohli and holds the second and third-highest individual run total in RCB history with 133 not out against Mumbai Indians (in 2015) and 129 unbeaten against Gujarat Lions (in 2016).