Former Proteas batsman Jonty Rhodes is effectively undecided whether former captain AB de Villiers should return to the squad ahead of this year's T20 World Cup in Australia.
De Villiers retired from Test, ODI and T20I cricket in 2018. He has since played in domestic T20 leagues around the world, including a recent stint for the Brisbane Heat in Australia's Big Bash League. He will represent the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League later this year. Bangalore are priced at 8.00 by bet365 to win the 2020 IPL.
Head coach Mark Boucher recently reiterated South Africa's willingness to accommodate a return from de Villiers, who has suggested coming out of international retirement.
“I think it's interesting because it's a tough call. You want your best team to play, it's also tough on the guys who then miss out. You know AB is a very special player so then do you set a precedent for a guy like de Villiers if he is not playing for South Africa, I mean why are you selecting him? I suppose a lot of people watch how he performed at the IPL but just watching him in the Big Bash, he's such a class player; I'm a big fan of AB de Villiers,” Rhodes told ESPNcricinfo.
“I'm just not sure of the precedent. If you want to win a T20 World Cup, you should do anything to win it. You're not breaking any rules, you are setting a slight precedent and you are going to be upsetting a few players who are going to miss out. But a team without AB or a team with AB – I'd love to see that guy play. Although difficult to answer that because I'm not somebody who is missing out, I'm also not from the administration about setting this kind of precedent, so I don't have to make that call. It'll just be great to see de Villiers play at a World Cup again for us.”
Rhodes in the IPL
Rhodes was recently appointed fielding coach for the Kings XI Punjab in the 2020 IPL. He will be accompanied by new bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, alongside assistant coach Andy Flower and head coach Anil Kumble. Former Proteas fast bowler Hardus Viljoen plays for the Kings XI Punjab.