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De Villiers steps down from ODI captaincy

JOHANNESBURG : Star batsman AB de Villiers has quit as South Africa ODI skipper Wednesday, but committed to representing his country in all three cricket formats.
“Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the T20 and Test teams,” he said in a statement. “Bearing this in mind, I have informed Cricket South Africa that I would like to step down as ODI captain. It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for someone else to take the ODI side forward. Whoever is chosen as the new ODI captain will have my complete support.”
De Villiers last skippered the ODI team two months ago in the Champions Trophy in England, where South Africa failed to reach the semi-finals after defeats by Pakistan and India.
He has averaged 53.56 runs in 221 appearances in the 50-over format since debuting against England 12 years ago.
De Villiers rejected media claims that he was cherry-picking when to play for South Africa and putting himself before the team.
“That is simply not true. That has never been true. Playing for South Africa is, and will always be, the greatest privilege of my life,” he said.
He missed the recent 3-1 Test series defeat in England, last playing for South Africa in the longest format at the beginning of 2016.
De Villiers said mental and physical tiredness and raising a young family had forced him to take a temporary international break.
“I really do feel refreshed and revived,” said the 33-year-old. “I want to get back on the field and today assured the national selectors that I will be available for selection in all three formats of the game during the coming season.

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