TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
YOU read it here first: there are things AB de Villiers cannot do. Like get away with pretending a cricket ground is a tennis court.
“It’s got to do with the tendons,” De Villiers told reporters about the elbow injury that will keep him out of SA’s test series against New Zealand, which starts at Kingsmead on Friday.
“I play some shots that look like tennis shots. I’ve been given six weeks (to recover).”
De Villiers has missed only two of the 108 tests SA have played since he made his debut in December 2004.
If it seems like he is always playing some format for some team somewhere, that’s because he is.
Since his first match for the North Gauteng under-19 team in December 2000, De Villiers has played 663 games of cricket.
That an average of more than 41 matches a year.
Something’s got to give …
“It (the elbow) is not the only issue that I have,” De Villiers said.
“I have five to six niggles at the moment, including the shoulder that everybody knows about.
“It started about eight months ago but I’ve been hanging in there. I did fool myself a bit in thinking that I could just keep going and keep going and it has sort of caught up with me a bit.
“Lots of things play a role when it comes to injury. I’ve definitely played a lot of cricket in all three formats, all over the world. It definitely played a role.
“It caught me like a thief in the night. This was not part of the plan. That’s just the way it is.”
As bad as De Villiers’ absence is for a SA team who will be intent on showing against the Kiwis that they have halted last season’s spiral of six defeats in eight tests, things could have been worse.
De Villiers is among the most marketable stars of world sport. He doesn’t need his salary from Cricket SA, who are believed to pay him 10 times less than what he earns from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Wouldn’t he uncomplicate his life significantly by retiring from international cricket?
“I love playing for my country and I would love to play as long as I can,” De Villiers said.
“You’ve got to look after your body sometimes and that’s happening with the six weeks now. Hopefully after this New Zealand series I will be ready to go and will tackle the Aussies (in a home one-day series) in October.
“There’s a (one-day) game against Ireland in seven weeks’ time. That’s a good time to test where I am physically.”
Save the date: September 25.