Cape Town: South Africa's star batsman AB de Villiers on Wednesday announced his surprise retirement from all international cricket after a glittering 14-year career playing for the Proteas.
De Villiers, 34, was famed for mixing traditional and unorthodox shots, as well as his fast scoring and ability to hit the ball to all parts of the ground.
He holds the world record for the fastest half-century (16 balls), hundred (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls) in ODIs, and is one of the few batsmen to top the Test and 50-over rankings at the same time.
"I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect," he said in a statement.
"After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired."
I’ve made a big decision today pic.twitter.com/In0jyquPOK— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) May 23, 2018
The middle-order batsman said it had taken him a long time to make the "tough" decision and that he decided to quit while still playing "decent cricket".
"After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside," he said.
"It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing."
He added he had no plans to play overseas but would continue in league competitions, saying: "It's not about earning more somewhere else, it's about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on."
De Villiers retired with a Test average of 50.66 and as the fourth-highest run-scorer for South Africa with 8765 runs, with 22 100s.
In limited overs, he finished as the number two ranked batsman in the world and as the second highest run-scorer behind Jacques Kallis with 9577 runs at an average of 53.50.
"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... to new levels," said Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Chris Nenzani.
"It goes without saying that he is going to be greatly missed wherever international cricket is played."
CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said De Villiers' decision ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales was disappointing but respected.
"AB has been a colossus on the world stage for well over a decade,' he said.
"His ability to improvise has made him known as Mr. 360 degrees in white ball cricket and we will never ever forget those remarkable innings that earned him the fastest 50. 100 and 150 in ODI cricket."
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers
Born: February 17, 1984, Pretoria (Age 34 years)
Teams: South Africa, Barbados Tridents, Delhi Daredevils, Northerns, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Titans
Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Bowling style: Right-arm medium
Fielding position: Wicketkeeper
Mts Inns NO Runs HS Avg S/R 100s 50s Cts St
Tests 114 191 18 8765 278* 50.66 54.51 22 46 222 5
ODIs 228 218 39 9577 176 53.50 101.09 25 53 176 5
T20Is 78 75 11 1672 79* 26.12 135.16 0 10 65 7
* Began his career as a wicket-keeper has kept in 24 Tests and has 94 dismissals to his credit (89caught/5stumpings)
* Test debut vs England at Port Elizabeh in 2004; ODI debut also vs Eng in early 2005. First T20I was against Australia in early 2006.
* Was part of Delhi Daredevils for the first three years of IPL and has since been a part of RCB. Has scored 3 IPL hundreds, 2 for RCB and one for DD.
*His highest IPL score is 133* for RCb vs MI at Wankhede in 2015.
*Has captained South Africa in 3 Tests and won 2 of them. However was more the ODI captain of SA where he won 49 of the 87 games apart from 15 T20I games winning seven.
*On January, 2015, he scored the fastest century by any player in ODI cricket in just 31 balls, the entire innings of 149 lasted just 44 balls.
* During the above innings, he made the quickest ODI 50 in 16 balls.
* Has batted in positions from 1-8 in Tests and from 1-6 in One-dayers.
* Has scored 1000 runs in a year twice in Tests (2005 & 2008)and three times in ODIs (2007, 2013, 2015)
* Was the third highest run-getter (484 runs) in the 2015 World Cup.
- Compiled by Mohandas Menon