Johannesburg: In a shocking move, South Africa's swashbuckling batsman AB de Villiers on Wednesday bid adieu to all forms of international cricket with immediate effect, thus putting an end to his 14-year illustrious career.
Announcing the news, the 34-year-old posted a video of himself on his Twitter handle and said though it was quiet a tough decision, he believes it is the right time for other talented players to take over.
"I have decided to retire from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect. After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI's and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired," De Villiers said.
De Villiers further revealed that he always wanted to retire while playing decent cricket and, therefore, he felt that it was a right time to bid adieu to international cricket following impressive series win against India and Australia.
"This is a tough decision. I have thought long and hard about it and I would like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside," the South African batsman said.
"It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff of Cricket South Africa for their support through all these years. The most important thank you goes out to all of my team mates throughout my career, I wouldn't be half the player that I am without the support throughout the years," he added.
De Villiers, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the ongoing 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), further confirmed that he would not play any cricket overseas. However, he is hopeful of representing Titans in domestic cricket.
"It's not about earning more somewhere else, it's about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the World, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding. I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be availablefor the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of Faf du Plessis and the Proteas," De Villiers said in the video.
The announcement comes few days after the South African batsman's gravity-defying boundary catch during an IPL clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad stole the show of the cricket world.
De Villiers, who made his international debut during a Test match against England in 2004, retires as the greatest batsmen of his time, having appeared in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20I for the national side.
He finished his career with an incredible 20,014 international runs, including 8,765 in Tests, 9,577 in ODIs and 1,672 in T20Is.
De Villiers, who bagged the coveted SA Cricketer of the Year award twice in 2014 and 2015, holds a phenomenal number of records to his name.
He holds the world record for the fastest ODI 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls) besides also being the second highest individual Test scorer for South Africa (278*).