Updated May 30th, 2024 at 01:54 IST

‘As per usual’: AB De Villiers opens up on South Africa’s controversial squad for T20 World Cup

South African cricket team has ran into controversy for not matching the quota of African Black players in the squad for the T20 World Cup. ABD has his say.

AB de Villiers | Image:AB de Villiers 360/Youtube
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South Africa are finalising their preparations for T20 World Cup 2024 which is set to be hosted in the USA and West Indies. They will play their first game at the World Cup in their group stage encounter against Sri Lanka on June 3rd, 2024. 

Ahead of the World Cup however the South African cricket team has run into racial controversy once again as there is only one back player in the squad Kagiso Rabada. This has invited a lot of criticism over the team not meeting their racial quota. This controversy has irritated SA legend AB de Villiers who thinks it’s a shame that the conversation is still around this. 

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AB de Villiers opens up on South Africa’s squad 

AB de Villiers backed the board and captain Aiden Markram’s decision of only going in with Kagiso Rabada as he slammed the racial controversy as unnecessary. He cites that it was a tough call for the selectors given the loss of form for Luigi Ngidi and injuries to other players.

"There are controversial moments back home as per usual with the South African squad just before a World Cup. I think it's a good team. It's a shame about Lungi... (he) lost a bit of form, had a couple of injuries. Otherwise, he most probably would have been in the squad and there wouldn't have been any controversial stuff back home," said AB de Villiers. 

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AB de Villiers further did not like that heading into a tournament as big as the T20 World Cup all the conversation is centred around this controversy. 

“It's a shame going into a tournament to have the focus on that. I mean it's nothing new, it's just a shame Luckily this time around, I've had nothing to do with anything over there. I'm just a spectator,” said AB de Villiers. 

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AB de Villiers further backed the difficulty of selectors in picking the squad and slammed the journalists for taking it out of context and springing up controversy. 

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"Sometimes these things happen and it puts you under a bit of pressure as a selection panel and as a coach and a captain. From what I remember is with the quota system, it's an average team, an average number over the season and they don't really look at every series, but as journalists sometimes enjoy steaming up things a bit," said AB de Villiers.

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Over the course of a season, six players of colour are required to be in the South Africa playing eleven including two from the black African community as per the policy introduced in 2016.

With Kagiso Rabada being the only black African in the T20 World Cup squad, the national team is set to miss its target. Another black-African, Lungi Ngidi, is part of the travelling reserves.

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(With PTI Inputs)

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Published May 29th, 2024 at 17:25 IST