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AB de Villiers made more than 400 international appearances for South Africa in Test, ODI and T20 cricket and was one of the most exciting batters of his generation.

De Villiers, a classy wicketkeeper and a brilliant fielder, showcased his Twenty20 qualities in the Indian Premier League, spending 11 run-laden seasons with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

T20 World Cup

AB de Villiers in Profile


South Africa

Years active

2004 to 2021

Playing role

Right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper

Career T20 runs

9,424 runs in 320 innings with four centuries and 69 fifties

*Stats refer to all T20 matches

AB de Villiers honours

Despite his longevity and individual brilliance, tournament victories eluded AB de Villiers during both his South Africa and Royal Challengers Bangalore careers.

He was captain of South Africa at the T20 World Cup in 2012, when they were eliminated in the group stage, and the 2015 ODI World Cup, when they suffered a dramatic semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

De Villiers was named in the Team of the Tournament at the 2015 World Cup and won the ICC's ODI Cricketer of the Year award three times.

He won two domestic T20 titles in South Africa with Titans in 2008 and 2017 but the closest he came to IPL glory was as part of the RCB side who lost in the 2012 and 2016 finals.

AB de Villiers greatest matches

AB de Villiers had the versatility to play matchwinning innings in all three formats and arguably his most spectacular knock came in a 2015 ODI against the West Indies.

Coming in with less than 12 overs of the innings remaining, De Villiers smashed 149 off just 44 balls, hitting 16 sixes and reaching his century in a record 31 deliveries.

Little over a month later, he cracked 162 off 62 balls in a 50-over World Cup match in Sydney, where the Windies were once again the opponents.

His career-best score in T20s also came in 2015 – an unbeaten 133 off 59 balls for RCB against Mumbai when he dominated a stand of 215 with India legend Virat Kohli.

The 2012 IPL clash between Bangalore and Deccan Chargers featured another AB special. RCB were in trouble, requiring 39 runs from the last three overs before De Villiers scored 23 off six deliveries bowled by his international teammate Dale Steyn, sealing the chase with an unbeaten 47 off 17.

Three of his four highest T20 international scores came against England, including a blistering 71 from 29 deliveries in a nine-wicket win in Johannesburg in 2016.

But De Villiers was also capable of digging in, as he proved in a remarkable innings of 33 from 220 balls to help the Proteas draw a 2012 Test match against Australia in Adelaide. 

AB de Villiers career statistics

De Villiers had a modest record in T20 internationals, batting in every position in the top six during his career and often keeping wicket.

However, he still managed to score 10 half-centuries in 75 innings and he amassed 5,162 runs in 184 IPL matches at an excellent strike-rate of 151.7 per 100 balls.

Three of his four T20 centuries were scored in the IPL and he was only the second batsman, after Bangalore teammate Chris Gayle, to reach 250 sixes in the competition.

De Villiers played 114 Tests for South Africa, scoring 8,765 runs at an average of 50.66 with a top score of 278 not out against Pakistan.

His ODI career was also sensational – 9,577 runs at an average of 53.5 – and he still holds the records for the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in 50-over internationals.

Quotes on AB de Villiers

If I have to pick one batsman for all formats in any conditions against any opposition that will surely be AB de Villiers.

Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq

There is no doubt in my mind that AB de Villiers has been one of the most influential players of his generation – a genius.

Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle

You get guys that are good. Then you get guys that are excellent. And then you get AB de Villiers.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn, a former international teammate and IPL opponent of De Villiers

The most complete modern-day cricketer and an epic smasher of the cricket ball.

Former Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz, after De Villiers announced his retirement in 2021

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