After Thami Tsolekile, another Proteas player Khaya Zondo has slammed legendary cricketer AB de Villiers over his approach while he was playing cricket for South Africa. Zondo was referring to an old incident when he was in the team during their team’s tour to India in 2015.
De Villiers was leading the team and won the series but according to the aggressive right-hand batter, his captain didn’t want him in the playing XI. Zondo was all set to make his ODI debut in the third game, owing to JP Duminy’s injury. But instead, De Villiers opted to go with Dean Elgar as the replacement player, who apparently was not even in the squad.
South African management had included Zondo in the team but De Villiers was not happy by this move and threatened to walk out of the tour if the right-hand batter played against India. Zondo made his revelations to the Transformation Ombudsman, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza.
“The captain (AB de Villiers) called me over to the side, away from the rest of the team, and mentioned to me he was the one who felt I should not play. He was trying to explain himself and, he was taking full responsibility for the decision,” Zondo said during the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) Hearings.
After three years, Zondo finally got to don the South African jersey, but by that time, he lost all his respect for his idol De Villiers. “I remember in the moment of him explaining himself to me, losing all respect for him as a captain, and as someone, I looked up to as a cricketing hero of mine because I could not believe this guy was trying to justify himself to me, and it came across as if I should accept this decision because the decision came from him,” Zondo continued.
Zondo concluded by saying watching other players get opportunities ahead of him is the hardest part of his life.