Be a man, dont play gimmicks, Akhtar tells De Villiers

Tanya Simon
June 12, 2019

After having lost their first three games, South Africa will be playing for survival when they take on West Indies on Monday in Southampton, but when head coach Ottis Gibson walked in for the pre-match press conference all he was asked about was AB de Villiers. In a recent harsh worded video on his YouTube channel, Akhtar questioned the timing of AB de's proposal. However, de Villiers was at peace with his personal decision.

"So basically everything started with finance. If you indeed have to make money then pick and choose correctly but keep your country as the priority", Akhtar said in the video.

Ottis said: "Personally I suspect that there are a lot more people wanting AB to be here than AB himself because I believe that if AB wanted to be here, he would be here". Among the former cricketers who objected de Villiers' desire to play the World Cup again was former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

"Suddenly we've come to the World Cup and we've had one bad week, and AB is the saviour, but the guy is retired, he's made his decision, and we have to live with the decision that he's made". Now to clear your name you made a last-ditch offer to come out of worldwide retirement for this summer's World Cup.

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The South African coach stated that his side has moved on and has won without AB de Villiers and the batsman lost the opportunity when it was available to him. Kerry Packer happened and it was wrong. Now you want to come back, it is not more than a gimmick. I was offered millions of dollars to play in the ICL and was told not to play for Pakistan but I did not do that. "That's what I said - you can quote me on that - that's what I said".

Zondi said it would be unfair to other players to accede to De Villiers' belated request. "Be a man and stick to your decision and that is only possible once you let go of the lure of money". And just before South Africa were set to announce the squad, he made an offer to them. "Forget about your country. After so many years of service to your country, these were the last two years and people would have remembered you fondly had you bowed out respectfully". Now your country is down and out because of you. "Had you been there in the middle-order for South Africa then maybe they would not have performed so badly in the World Cup and who knows they could have also scripted a turnaround".

The former Pakistan cricketer said De Villiers preferred money over country by playing in the Indian Premier League, Pakistan Super League and then retiring, though he still had two years of global cricket left in him.

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