AB de Villiers disclosed to Wisden Cricket Monthly that he endured a detached retina for the final two years of his cricketing career after an accidental kick to his eye from his child.

AB de Villiers retired from international cricket in May 2018 but continued participating in T20 leagues, notably representing Royal Challengers Bangalore. Despite speculation about a potential return during the 2019 World Cup, de Villiers stuck to his decision.

In a recent interview with Wisden Cricket Monthly, he revealed sustaining an eye injury before retiring when his child accidentally kicked him, causing severe vision loss in his right eye. Surprisingly, he managed to play for the last two years of his career, with his left eye compensating, until he underwent surgery.

 “My youngster accidentally kicked me on my eye with his heel. I started really losing vision in the right eye. When I got the surgery done the doctor actually asked me, ‘How in the world did you play cricket like this?’. Luckily my left eye did a decent job for the last two years of my career,” de Villiers said.

De Villiers further attributed his decision not to return to international cricket to several factors, citing COVID-19’s influence and the lingering impact of the 2015 World Cup disappointment. He confessed that after his return, the team culture didn’t align with what he sought, leading to doubts about continuing.

“Covid certainly played a role, there’s no doubt about it. From an international perspective, that 2015 World Cup hurt big time. It took me a while to get over that and then, when I got back into the side and I was ready to commit, I didn’t feel the same culture that I really needed at that time,” he explained.

“I didn’t even really want to play IPL or anything else. I got away from everything in 2018 and then decided to push one more time with a bit of Test cricket, to try and beat India and Australia over here, and then I’ll call it. I didn’t want any spotlight on me. I just wanted to say, ‘I had a great time, thank you very much’,” de Villiers concluded.

Last Updated on December 7, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter