South African batting star AB de Villiers has underlined his determination to play at this year’s T20 World Cup.
Talks of a return to the international stage have begun after the 37-year-old Royal Challengers Bangalore player’s eye-catching start to IPL 2021.
He has played a big role in Bangalore’s unbeaten start to the tournament, including an unbeaten 76 from 34 balls against KKR.
With the 2021 T20 World Cup also being held in India, de Villiers is keen to be involved.
He is planning on discussing the possibility of an international comeback with national head coach Mark Boucher towards the end of the IPL.
Speaking after the KKR victory, he said: “I haven't had a discussion with Bouchy (Mark Boucher) yet. We are lined up to have a chat somewhere during the IPL but yes we have been talking about it.
“Last year, he asked me if I would be interested. And I said, ‘absolutely'. And come the end of the IPL, we will have a look at where we are at with regards to my form and my fitness.
“Also, the situation with his team – he's got to look at his guys who have been performing well over the last while.
“If there's no space for me, so be it. If I can slot in there, it will be fantastic if all those things fall in place. Waiting for Bouchy towards the end of the IPL, and we will then plan accordingly.”
De Villiers will look to continue his run of form when RCB take on Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.
Boucher Open to Discussions
This is not the first time de Villiers has discussed a return for his country following his retirement in 2018.
There were talks of a late call-up to the squad for the ODI World Cup in England.
However, selectors rejected that proposal and stood by their 15-man squad for the tournament rather than bring in the talented veteran.
Despite that, things could be different for the T20 World Cup in India.
Boucher already left the door open for de Villiers’ returns during the recent T20I series between South Africa and Pakistan.
He said: “The conversation is still very open. AB being the person he is, he wanted to perform very well at the IPL to prove to himself and everyone else that he's still a key figure in world cricket and can dominate at that level.
“I said to him, ‘You go do your thing and I'll give you a shout towards the end of the IPL and see where you are.'”