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De Villiers not retiring from Tests

Sports Desk

AB de Villiers insists he is not planning to retire from Test cricket despite making himself unavailable for South Africa’s upcoming series in New Zealand.

De Villiers has been sidelined since July with an elbow injury and has handed over the Test captaincy to Faf du Plessis and has not played a Test since January 2016 when he captained the Proteas in their 2-1 series defeat to England on home soil.

The 2019 World Cup in England remains his priority but De Villiers is keen to keep playing in all forms of the game, even if it means him missing certain series to stay physically and mentally fresh.

“I’ve made (myself) unavailable for the Tests in New Zealand,” said De Villiers, who is set to return to action in the third Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka on January 25.

“I’m not there yet. I need a bit of time just to settle things in my head. For me the goal is the 2019 World Cup – I want to lift that trophy.

“I’m not retiring out of any format, that’s for sure. I am not prepared to do that.

“My main aim is to get to that 2019 World Cup and I am going to do everything possible to get there.

“It’s important to play the other formats but mentally and physically I need to be in a good space come the 2019 World Cup and that’s what I am aiming for.

“I am going to have to make certain choices. It’s not easy for me. I have always been the go-ahead guy, the team man, never want to miss a game for South Africa and I still do, but the schedules these days, it’s really tough to play all formats.”

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