- Former Proteas batsman and captain AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all cricket on Friday
- The cricketer's retirement announcement instigated an immediate flood of reactions from around the world
- De Villiers, whose career spanned 17 years, is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen of the modern era
Shockwaves rippled across social media as legendary former Proteas batsman AB de Villiers announced that he was retiring from all forms of the "gentleman's game" on Friday.
Taking to Twitter under his verified @ABdeVilliers17 handle, the former senior national men's team skipper broke the news to his more than eight million-strong following on the platform.
The heartfelt message he posted, accompanied by a greyed-out picture of himself looking into the distance, and with the words "Thank you" written in three languages, was immediately engulfed by fans, pundits, fellow cricketers, and admirers all over the world.
"It has been an incredible journey, but I have decided to retire from all cricket. Ever since the backyard matches with my older brothers, I have played the game with pure enjoyment and unbridled enthusiasm.
"Now, at the age of 37, that flame no longer burns so brightly. That’s the reality I must accept – and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement today. I’ve had my time. Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me," de Villiers wrote in part.
On the heels of his retirement message, there was an instant outpouring of praise and tributes shared by the throngs who've followed one of the modern game's best-ever batsman's 17-year-long career closely.
The 37-year-old, who effectively became known as "Mr 360" for his boundless all-round cricketing ability, featured in 114 Test matches, 228 one-day international (ODI)'s, and 78 Twenty20 Internationals for South Africa.
De Villiers had already called time on his international cricket career ahead of the announcement, last striding out for the national team in 2018.
However, his retirement on Friday effectively meant he would no longer play franchise cricket around the world, including Australia and India, as he had come to do since his international retirement.
Tributes from around the world
Briefly News takes a look at some of the many emotion-filled messages that followed de Villers' announcement.
"End of an era. End of an outstanding career. What a legend of the game! Indeed, the only athlete in World Cricket to have redefined the basics of batting in particular. An ambassador of unconventional, yet effective stroke-making, and unarguably the best to have played the game."
"We have all watched you play @ABdeVilliers17, both with bat in hand, and in the field, and just shaken our heads in disbelief at your insane ability. Well done on an amazing career, swing those golf clubs easy."
"What a pleasure it was to watch you unleash your talent on the cricketing world, you brought so much joy to so many around the world so thank you for that. Enjoy retirement & your family."
Allan Donald honours Hall of Fame inductee Shaun Pollock
In other news, Briefly News recently reported that ex-South African international cricketer Allan Donald penned an emotional piece to honour his former teammate, Shaun Pollock.
The two retired Proteas cricketers have been honoured for their contribution to the game. The pair are also part of the International Cricket Council (ICC)'s Hall of Fame,l with Donald penning a touching tribute honouring the retired fast bowler.
According to various media publications, Donald remembered how and when he first met Pollock.
"The fact that you, Shaun, will join me, Barry Richards, Jacques Kallis, Aubrey Faulkner, and, of course, your uncle Graeme, in being inducted is an enormously proud moment for all of us in South African cricket."
Source: Sports Brief News