De Villiers steps down as ODI captain

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AB de Villiers has played 222 ODIs since his debut in 2005

AB de Villiers has stepped down as South Africa’s one-day captain but is making himself available for international selection in all three formats.

The 33-year-old, who was captain for six years, says it is “time for someone else to take the ODI side forward”.

He missed South Africa’s Test series defeat in England because he “needed a bit of time away from the game”.

But De Villiers says he now feels “refreshed and revived”.

De Villiers, who has more than 8,000 Test runs at an average of 50.46, has not played a Test since January 2016.

He played for the Proteas in the T20 series against England last month and captained the ODI side in the Champions Trophy, where they failed to reach the semi-finals.

In a statement he defended accusations he has been “picking and choosing when to play”.

“Over the past year or so, I have tried to manage many commitments, ” he said. “I have felt mentally and physically tired; my wife and I are bringing up two fantastic kids and playing in all three formats ever since 2004 has taken its toll.

“Together with Cricket South Africa, we have tried to develop a viable schedule which allows me to prolong my career for as long as possible.”

He added: “This strategy has prompted some people to say I am picking and choosing when to play for the Proteas, and even to suggest I am somehow putting myself 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. “

South Africa host Bangladesh in two Tests, starting on 28 September, while India and Australia will tour in early 2018.

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