South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has revealed that the last minute offer made by AB de Villiers to return to the national side for the ongoing World Cup was too late to consider.
Speaking after Monday's washout game against West Indies, South African captain Faf du Plessis disclosed that he and retired cricketer AB de Villiers had telephonic conversation on this during the Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this summer.
AB de Villiers had retired from international cricket in May. 2018.
Over a week ago, news broke that the retired ace cricketer had offered to come back to play for the national side and that Cricket South Africa (CSA) had turned him down.
"It was just a conversation, a phone call the night before the team got announced," the official website of the Cricket World Cup quoted du Plessis as saying. "It was just a 'this is what I'm feeling' (phone call).” he said.
"I said to him, 'I think it is too late but I will check in with the coach and the selectors the next morning'. When I spoke to the coach and the selectors, they all agreed that it was way, way too late to change the team on 99.99."
ESPNcricinfo had reported first how the offer was made by de Villiers in May, just a day before South Africa selectors announced their final 15-member squad for the prestigious quadrennial event.
The report came at a time when South Africa faced successive losses in their first three matches of the ongoing showpiece event.
When asked whether the development had impacted his side negatively, the Proteas skipper said, "I think a little bit of both. We do feel like the news came in and like, went through the team. It didn't have a huge impact.”
"There was just a discussion on clarity and on making sure everyone knows what's going on and then it was moving on. The team was happy to get on with business. But it is stuff like that generally you feel like it can make you, give you direction in your team and give you purpose to focus on what lies ahead," he added.
South Africa have managed just one point from the four matches they have played so far and are currently languishing at the bottom of the points table, just above Afghanistan whom they will play next Saturday in Cardiff.