AB de Villiers says he has absolutely no regrets over calling time on his international career.
In what came as a shock move, the South Africa batsman announced he was retiring from all forms of international cricket in May this year.
Speaking to the Independent, the 34-year-old spoke about the ‘unbearable’ pressure which led him to seek retirement.
“I know the right answer is probably to say I will always miss the game, but I truly believe that players who tell you they don’t feel the pressure of international cricket – being away from home for months at a time – are lying to everyone and themselves,” the South African said.
“It’s been unbearable at times; the pressure you have to face, performing day in and day out. The expectations that you put on yourself, from fans, from the country, from coaches.
“It is huge, and it’s something that’s on your mind all the time as a cricketer. It’s definitely something that I’m not going to miss. I’m very happy to have stepped away. Absolutely no regrets.”
The right-hander enjoyed a stellar 15-year international career in which he scored 8,675 runs in 114 Tests at an average of 50.66 along with the help of 22 tons. His ODI record is equally impressive, if not more, with 9,577 runs in 228 matches at an average of 53.50.
The South African continues to participate in franchise T20 leagues such as the IPL. On Tuesday, he was announced as the global ambassador for the inaugural UAE T20x league which will get underway in January next year.
Former batsman Gary Stead has been appointed as the new coach of the New Zealand cricket team on a two-year-deal.
The 46-year-old Stead will take over from Mike Hesson who resigned from his post in June this year.
Stead had emerged as the leading candidate for the job after he was unanimously approved by the five-man selection panel formed by New Zealand Cricket.
With his candidacy being approved by New Zealand Cricket on Wednesday, Stead will now take the reins of the Black Caps from September. His first assignment as New Zealand coach will be the ODI and T20I series against Pakistan in UAE during October.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of that, and I can’t wait to get started,” Stead said after accepting the job.
“It’s a matter of helping maintain New Zealand’s strong form on the international scene, but also respecting what’s happened over the past four or five years by continuing to push for improvement.
“This is a well-established and high-performing Black Caps side with an excellent captain in Kane Williamson, and a real desire to win series and titles.”
Stead played five Tests for New Zealand in 1999 before leading the White Ferns to the ICC Women’s World Cup final. He has since led Canterbury to domestic titles in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The Indian cricket team is being slammed across all quarters for their lack of preparation coming into the Test series with England but that hasn’t stopped Virat Kohli and his men from taking a break from all things cricket post the defeat at Lord’s.
According to a report by the Times of India, the visitors have not conducted a single session since going down by an innings and 159 runs in the second Test at Lord’s.
The team is expected to hit the nets only on Thursday for the third Test at Trent Bridge which gets underway on Saturday.
This would leave India with only two days – Thursday and Friday – to get themselves ready for the Test. It is another poor call regarding training given how dismally India’s batsmen have performed.
India’s failings against the moving ball resurfaced with the side bundled out for 107 and 130 in the two innings at Lord’s. All batsmen bar the skipper himself have been woefully out of form.
The team has been heavily criticised for playing only one red-ball warm-up game leading up to the five-match Test series. That game too was curtailed from a four-day game to three days at the insistence of the Indian team management.
India currently trail the five-match series 0-2 after tasting a 31-run defeat in the opening Test at Edgbaston.