South Africa's batting maestro AB de Villiers on Wednesday stepped down as captain of the Proteas One Day side but will continue to be available for selection across all formats of the game. De Villiers has asked Cricket South Africa to relieve him of his duties as South Africa's ODI captain.
In a statement released on de Villiers' behalf by Cricket South Africa, the cricketer denied accusations that he was being selective about matches. He assured full support to Faf du Plessis, who has largely been acting as captain of the side in his absence.
"A lot has been said and written over the past 12 months, and I feel it is time to make my position absolutely clear," de Villiers said."Over the past year or so, I have tried to manage many commitments. I have felt mentally and physically tired; my wife and I are bringing up two fantastic kids and playing in all three formats ever since 2004 has taken its toll.
"Together with CSA, we have tried to develop a viable schedule which allows me to prolong my career for as long as possible."The 33-year-old's recent slump in form prompted speculation that he might retire from one format of the game with the 2019 ICC World Cup in focus.
"...This strategy has prompted some people to say I am picking and choosing when to play for the Proteas, and even to suggest I am somehow putting myself before the team. That is simply not true. That has never been true."
Playing for South Africa is, and will always be, the greatest privilege of my life, he said. "Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the T20 and Test teams, and bearing this in mind, I have informed Cricket South Africa that I would like to step down as captain of the ODI team.