South Africa’s star batsman AB de Villiers has shown complete disregard to one of the most special milestones in the cricketing world –The 10, 000 runs achievement.
The 10K club is termed prestigious, exclusive and reserved for the finest names in the sport. However, all the shine of the 10k club has failed to attract AB de Villiers as the former Proteas Test skipper terms it absolutely unimportant to him.
“I mean no disrespect to anyone who has ever achieved that, but it means absolutely zero to me to achieve 10,000 runs. I don’t care about that at all,” AB de Villiers said in Bengaluru while speaking at a promotional event of his app AB17.
Also, talking about the future of the game, AB de Villiers has commended the efforts of ICC to keep the interest in the game alive. De Villiers feels that the longest version of the format, which is facing an existential crisis due to the surge of the T20 format, will continue to thrive despite facing challenges like dwindling crowd turnouts.
“The way T20 has hit the ground, it was always going to be a challenge for Test cricket to keep the people involved and interested. But the ICC have got it right in the last few years, not neglecting Test cricket. There’s been some unbelievable Test cricket played over the last five-seven years. Some games I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.”
“I’ve no doubt in my mind that the format is going nowhere; it’s definitely here to stay… forever, hopefully. I love watching Test cricket, and as a player, I know it’s the real challenge and the real test for a player. If you can survive in Test cricket, then you know you can play the game. I believe the ICC have got it right over the last few years to make sure Test cricket survives.”
He also felt the One-Day format of the game will also maintain its stature. When asked for a reason, he sarcastically said because he hasn’t won the 50 overs World Cup yet.
“Hopefully not, because I still want to win a World Cup. Hopefully, it doesn’t go away. Once we win the World Cup then it can go. No, I’m kidding (laughs).”
De Villiers sees all three formats as unique and feels they are all intertwined with each other as far as characteristics are concerned.
“I think the three formats that we have are very, very unique. Every single format is completely different. In T20, you see all the skills, the adrenaline rush and the match-winners coming out of nowhere. In ODI, it’s almost a little bit of a taste of both the formats, where the bowler’s got more time to work a batsman out, and a batsman has more time to get himself in and then express himself. It’s a beautiful format; I wouldn’t like to see it go anywhere. And obviously, Test cricket – it’s a test of endurance and mental skill. All three formats are so unique, and I really think there’s room for all three formats to survive in the future.”
The rise of T20 cricket has also led to the rise of T20 leagues all around the world. While initial, these T20 leagues appeared to be just a branch of the rising T20 format, later on, controversy related to the player’s loyalty became an issue giving birth to the ‘club over country’ debate.
Ab de Villiers presents a clear way for handling the problem from the player’s point of view.
“The first thing is to play for South Africa. That’s the first priority: to play international cricket. And then where the schedule allows it – this will be different to every player around the world – I think it is a great thing to go play cricket overseas in different conditions and different cultures. Guys who can’t play the IPL or different T20 tournaments, it is a great opportunity to play in county cricket in England. That’s always good for your cricket. So, I’m a big supporter of once your country’s cricket is done for the season to go and play wherever you can to pick up more experience and get better at your game.”