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De Villiers to discuss his future plans with CSA in August

AB de Villiers will discuss his future availability for the Proteas with Cricket South Africa in August, and has hinted that the issue of who coaches South Africa from September .....


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Old 26-06-2017
[JUGRAJ SINGH]
 
De Villiers to discuss his future plans with CSA in August

AB de Villiers will discuss his future availability for the Proteas with Cricket South Africa in August, and has hinted that the issue of who coaches South Africa from September could have a major bearing on his decision-making.

De Villiers has taken a leave of absence from Test cricket this year. After missing series against New Zealand and Australia in 2016 and Sri Lanka this year due to injury, he confirmed in January that he would sit out the Test leg of the tour of New Zealand as well as the upcoming series in England. He has not made it clear whether he will take part in the Test segment of Bangladesh's tour to South Africa in September and October.

Although the 33-year-old has captained South Africa in all of their One Day Internationals since returning from injury - and led them in the three-match Twenty20 series in England - his unavailability in Test cricket has raised concerns about whether players should be allowed to pick and choose when they represent the Proteas.

However it now appears that some form of clarity will emerge in August, when de Villiers plans to sit down with CSA officials. "We will see what works for both parties (in terms of a date), and we are going to have a nice chat about my future," de Villiers said after the third Twenty20 international against England in Cardiff on Sunday (June 25). "We are not going to pick and choose games, but we are going to make a final decision about happens for the next few years."

Tellingly, de Villiers indicated that he would not make any definitive decisions until it was clear who will coach South Africa in the future. Russell Domingo's contract is set to expire after the Test series in England, and he has not confirmed whether he will reapply. In the lead-up to South Africa's ill-fated Champions Trophy campaign earlier this month, de Villiers said that he "definitely" wanted Domingo to continue beyond August.

Speaking about his future, de Villiers said on Sunday: "There are quite a few things that are changing in South African cricket at the moment, quite a few things we need to wait for. I don't even think it's in my hands what is going to happen. I will wait until the final decision on the coach and things like that are made, then I can also have a chat to CSA, to see where I am going to fit in."

De Villiers's comments suggest that South Africa's personnel could look very different when Bangladesh tour in September, depending on how the process to appoint a coach unfolds. The window for applications has closed, and a five-man panel is set to assess the candidates before making a recommendation to the CSA board.

While de Villiers remains committed to helping South Africa win the 2019 World Cup - a goal that, he says, led to his decision to sit out Tests - questions remain about whether South Africa's most talented batsman could walk away from Test cricket at a relatively young age.


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