South African cricketing star AB de Villiers, on Wednesday, announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 34. It means that the cricketer will not even participate in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England next year.
He last played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the ongoing Indian Premier League, where he was his team’s second highest run-scorer at a strike rate of almost 180. Led by Virat Kohli, RCB failed to qualify for the playoffs as silverware continues to elude them.
A few days before announcing his retirement, AB de Villiers sat down with us at the India launch of Montblanc’s Meisterstuck Le Petit Prince Collection. He spoke about family, religion, cricket and more.
What’s keeping you busy outside cricket these days?
Family. Kids, to be precise.
What’s your biggest achievement?
To be a husband, first of all. To become a dad was quite special. These are my two biggest personal achievements. Cricket-wise, (it would be) playing for the national team, probably.
What’s your biggest regret?
I don’t think I have regrets. There are things that irritate you or bother you when you look at the past, but you move on and make peace with it.
Name one skill every man should have.
What’s the one thing you always desire?
My wife (laughs). But seriously, happiness. (I seek it through) religion in most ways, and I stay close to my family.
Describe a life changing experience.
I can go very deep into this, in terms of religion. But seriously, every time my parents told me that they were proud of me, right from a very young age – that was always special and larger than life in a way that it always motivated me. It has helped me getting to where I am today.
What’s the one phrase/word that you overuse?
I have some speaking habits, because obviously my first language is Afrikaans. So I want to stop using Afrikaans words when I’m speaking in English.
If you could be a historical figure for one day, who would it be?
I’d like to know what was going on inside Einstein’s head.
What’s your favourite place on Earth?
I know it’s a boring answer, but just home. I love travelling, but I’ve done it so much in the last 14 years that I like being home better.
What’s an overrated virtue?
Patience. I’ve learned to become patient over time, though.
Name a film you wish you had been a part of.
I love movies, there are too many to name one. Maybe Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman. It’s the last movie I saw on the flight.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
From a cricketing perspective, Jonty Rhodes once told me to take it one ball at a time and not look too far ahead, or to look at what had just happened in the past. Just stay in the moment. It was pretty much spot on, and that’s what you can implement in life too – to just not look ahead and keep moving on.