Gibson was stunned by AB retirement

Proteas coach Ottis Gibson says that he was shocked to learn of AB de Villiers intention to retire the day before the superstar dropped the bombshell on South African cricket.

Gibson feels that De Villiers would have made a massive difference at the 2019 World Cup which the Proteas are desperate to win.

The superstar has maintained excellent form since returning from a long term injury this season including a stellar run in the recently completed IPL for the Royal Challengers Bangalore but at the end of a hectic 2017/18 season he called it a day in the international realm.

“The announcement came as a shock to me,” Gibson told a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday.

 “We had a conversation. He called me the morning before he made the announcement, telling me what he was planning to do.

“We had a long conversation around whether he was making the right decision and he has spoken to the people closest to him and he reckons that he is.”

Gibson doesn’t feel it is possible to replace De Villiers but hopes that someone else can step up in his place.

“He is one of the best players in the world. He could have made a huge difference in the World Cup and he knows that. We all know that. He’s chosen to walk away from the game and it is what it is,” said Gibson.

“Yes, it’s disappointing for the country and world cricket that AB de Villiers isn’t playing cricket anymore.

“I don’t believe he can be replaced, but it gives an opportunity for somebody else to put their hand up. There is a space there that somebody can fill now.”