AB de Villiers announces shock retirement from all forms of international cricket
South Africa batsman AB de Villiers has announced his shock retirement from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect.
The 34-year-old has been a titanic figure in the Proteas' middle order for more than a decade and will go down as one of their greatest ever batsmen.
De Villiers starred in the recent Test series victory over Australia - and only last year recommitted to representing South Africa in all formats after taking a break from Test cricket - but admitted his efforts have left him fatigued.
He said in a video on his Twitter account: "I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect.
"After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI's and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.
"This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I'd like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside."
De Villiers amassed 8,765 runs at an average of 50.66 in Tests and a further 9,577 at 53.50 in ODIs over the course of a stellar 14 years.
Traditional strokeplay was mixed with a flair for the unorthodox, earning De Villiers the moniker of 'Mr 360' for his ability to hit the ball to all parts of the ground.
He holds the world record for the fastest half-century, hundred and 150 in ODIs, and is one of only a handful of batsmen to hold the number one ranking in Tests and the 50-over format at the same time.
Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani said: "AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern day batting in all three formats but particularly in the white ball ones to new levels.
"What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his team-mates whether playing at international or domestic level and the wonderful role model he has been to all our aspiring youngsters.
"It goes without saying that he is going to be greatly missed wherever international cricket is played."
Former Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel told Sky Sports News: "It's a big shock, especially with the World Cup around the corner.
"But he's played for 14 years and played all formats and after a while all the pressure, all the miles get to you.
"He's been a great servant, he's a fantastic ambassador, and it's a sad day for South Africa and for cricket. We're going to miss him dearly."