'My kid accidentally kicked my eye with his heel. I began to lose vision in my right eye'
Renowned as one of cricket's elite, AB de Villiers, the former South African batting maestro, marked his international debut in 2004, etching a lasting legacy with 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, and 78 T20Is, amassing 20,014 runs for the Proteas.
His dazzling performances in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he earned the moniker 'Mr. 360,' concluded with his retirement from international cricket in 2018 and a graceful exit from the IPL in 2021.
In a recent conversation with Wisden Cricket, de Villiers unveiled the true reason behind his sudden retirement. He revealed that his young son accidentally kicked him in the eye, leading to a decline in vision.
'My kid accidentally kicked my eye with his heel. I began to lose vision in my right eye. After the surgery, the doctor wondered, 'How on earth did you play cricket like this?' Thankfully, my left eye held up well in the final two years of my career,' de Villiers revealed to Wisden Cricket.
Additionally, the ex-RCB luminary delved into the significant repercussions of South Africa's defeat to New Zealand in the 2015 ODI World Cup semi-final. Moreover, he explored the challenges faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
'Covid had an impact, no doubt. The 2015 World Cup was a significant blow from an international standpoint. It took me some time to recover from that, and when I returned to the team, I didn't sense the supportive culture I truly needed at that moment,' reflected de Villiers.
'I thought a lot, like, 'Is this the end for me?' I didn't want to play IPL or anything. In 2018, I took a break. Then, I tried Test cricket one more time to beat India and Australia, and then I'd stop. No spotlight, just wanted to say, 'Had a great time, thank you very much,'' he added.