Sport

AB de Villiers: I am desperate to win Champions Trophy title

AB de Villiers: I am desperate to win Champions Trophy title

"It is only five games in total if you go to the final", Captain AB de Villiers said. The first ODI will between England and South Africa is in Leeds on Wednesday.

De Villiers, who will also lead South Africa in the Champions Trophy that follows their 50-over series against England, insists he has not retired from Test cricket and is expected to return against India next winter.

South Africa also take on England in three Twenty20 internationals and four Tests this summer, but De Villiers has ruled himself out of the Test series in order to rest.

"I made some important decisions for my life and career in the previous year or so in order for me to have the best chance of winning trophies and being part of a successful team", said de Villiers, according to a report in dailymail.co.uk.

Having come to England after a stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Indian Premier League (IPL), De Villiers conceded that England all-rounder Ben Stokes poses a major threat as he feels the 25-year-old took his game to the "next level" during his time with the Rising Pune Supergiants. He had a really good IPL and he's a stand-out player for England.

De Villiers was speaking ahead of South Africa's three match ODI series against England set to begin next week.

"But first things first, we want to win the series against England".

"I'm feeling fresh, feeling 100 per cent, and looking forward to playing this series and then the tournament", he said.

South Africa last won an ICC tournament in 1998 and de Villiers is part of a squad that hasn't won any silverware in major tournaments.

However, there is no chance he will change his mind and make himself available for the Tests in England.

"If we play the type of cricket we have played in the past couple of years I believe that no one can stop us".

"They did really well to come back from that", said De Villiers.

"I haven't retired, no". Ben Stokes definitely lifted his game and I think it would have done him the world of good. I ve got a good feeling about this one.

"I'll look indecisive, but it's important that I'm feeling physically and mentally healthy, and that's what I decided on".

"I missed a couple of matches at the IPL and I am not planning to miss any games for South Africa".

"I made some important decisions for my life and career in the past year or so in order for me to have the best chance of winning trophies and being part of a successful team", de Villiers said in Hove on Thursday ahead of South Africa's tour opener against Sussex on Friday.


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