AB de Villiers, the man to score the fastest 8000 ODI runs, gave credit to some “Springbok energy” in their 62-run win to clinch the One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Wednesday. The Proteas cancelled their training on the eve of the match to connect as a squad, and also fed off some of the energy from the national rugby team who are about to embark on their World Cup journey.
“Definitely, it was a great moment for me in my career and also for the boys to spend some time with the Boks,” De Villiers said when asked if the interaction with the Boks had spurred them on.
“It was special to give them a bit of a send-off ahead of the World Cup next month. They are a bunch of great guys who are down to earth and are also some of our heroes. It’s great to get to know them on a personal level and I think it should happen often. It’s definitely a bit of credit to them for helping us cross the line today.”
Wednesday’s match also marked a notable landmark for De Villiers who became the fastest player to score 8 000 ODI runs, surpassing legends of the game Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. He was also named Man of the Match for his innings of 64 off 48 balls with 6 fours and a six on a pitch on which most batsmen struggled to score runs quickly.
The Proteas have a few weeks off before they depart for their tour of India at the end of September. The mammoth 72-day tour entails three T20 Internationals, 5 ODI’s and four Test matches.
Cricket South Africa congratulated De Villiers for claiming the No. 3 spot in the ICC ODI rankings.
“Congratulations to the Proteas on their series win which sees them overtake New Zealand into the No. 3 spot on the ICC ODI rankings and also to AB de Villiers on becoming the fastest player to score 8 000 ODI runs,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
“AB has achieved this landmark in 18 innings quicker than anybody else. That speaks volumes of AB’s talents that we must never take for granted.
“It has been a tough series against New Zealand who are this year’s World Cup finalists. We feel our ODI squad and especially our fringe players are on the right track,” Lorgat said.