AB de Villiers is a former South African cricketer who captained the South Africa team in all formats of the game. Known to be one of the best batsmen of his generation, de Villiers was born in Warmbad in South Africa. He used to play cricket from an early age, and also excelled in other sports such as golf, rugby, and tennis. He first came to popularity in April 2008, after he scored a double century in a match against India, becoming the first South African to have ever done so. He scored a total of 217 runs, which has been the highest so far in his career. He holds many other records as well including the fastest Test century by a South African and also the fastest T20 50 by a South African. He plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a popular T20 cricket league contested in India. He has played for Delhi Daredevils and currently plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL. Besides being a cricketer, he is also a proficient singer and guitarist. He has released a bilingual pop album named 'Maak Jou Drome Waar'. He is also a football enthusiast and an avid supporter of Manchester United. De Villiers has been involved in charity works as well.
Childhood & Early Life
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers was born on 17th February 1984, in Warmbad which is situated in the Limpopo region of South Africa. His father’s name is Abraham B de Villiers and his mother’s is Millie de Villiers. He is the youngest of three brothers.
Although his father is a doctor, he was very enthusiastic about sports and therefore he used to encourage his sons to take part in sports as well. De Villiers did his schooling from Afrikaans Boys’ High School, in Pretoria, South Africa. Along with cricket, he used to excel in golf, rugby, swimming and tennis as well.
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Despite being skilled in several sports, AB de Villiers finally made up his mind to pursue a career in cricket. He started playing for the Titans in 2003 and played for Carrickfergus Cricket Club in Northern Ireland as an overseas player from the next year.
In December 2004, he made his test debut against England. Although he was just twenty years of age, his performance was well appreciated. Over the years, he gained a reputation as an outstanding fielder as well.
He came to attention after taking part in the 2007 World Cup. However, his performance in the tournament wasn’t very remarkable and even received criticism. Still his team managed to enter the semi-finals where they lost to Australia.
AB de Villiers gained a lot of fame and reputation the following year, after he scored a double century in a match against India, becoming the first South African to have ever done so. He managed to make 217 runs and yet remain not out.
In 2008-09, he played his first test series in Perth, Australia, where he helped his team achieve victory. This was also South Africa’s first win in Australia after fifteen years.
His performance in the 2011 World Cup was also remarkable. He scored two centuries during the tournament, becoming the first South African to have achieved this feat. Despite his brilliant performance, South Africa was beaten at the quarterfinals by New Zealand.
Later in 2011, he was appointed captain of the One Day International team. After leading his team to several test as well as ODI victories, AB de Villiers again showed a brilliant performance during the 2015 World Cup. He became the highest run scorer for the South African team. Under his captaincy, his team managed to enter the semi-finals. However, like the previous World Cup, his team was once again beaten by New Zealand.
After leading his team to several victories, in January 2017, he chose to rule himself out of most of the test matches that South Africa would take part in the year. He resumed playing in early 2018 and participated in the Indian tour to South Africa.
In the second match of the ensuing test series against Australia, he scored his 22nd test century and helped his team win the match by six wickets.
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AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on 23 May 2018, while he was still at the top of his game.
Awards & Achievements
Throughout his career, AB de Villiers has won numerous ‘Player of the series’ and ‘Man of the Match’ Awards.
Some of the most significant records he has made in his career are the fastest half century and century in an ODI, fastest 150 in an ODI, most sixes in an ODI, and fastest player to reach 9000 runs in ODI.
He is the first South African to score two centuries in a single World Cup, and also the first South African to score a double century against India.
AB de Villiers married Danielle Swart in 2013. The couple has one son named Abraham who was born in 2015.
He is a devout Christian, and has spoken about how his faith in Jesus is crucial to his life and career. He has also described the Bible as his favorite book.
He is also known for his musical talents; his album 'Maak Jou Drome Waar' did quite well, and hit the national music charts.
He is a football enthusiast and a huge fan of the Manchester United Football Club.
He has been nicknamed as Mr. 360 because of his versatile batting style.