Reached to 1,000 Test runs in just 20 innings in 2005 and is the third fastest South African to reach this benchmark
Holds the second-highest individual score as a South African batsman with unbeatable 278
Scripted his name in the ODI history by becoming the second highest ODI scorer for South Africa with 9,427 runs from 213 innings that he earned in 223 matches
Honoured with the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2010
With his exceptional batting flair, ABD scored two centuries in a single World Cup of 2011 scoring 107* and 134 against the national squads of West Indies and Netherland, respectively.
Entitled as the ICC ODI Player of the Year and South African Cricketer of the Year in 2014
Honoured as the ICC ODI Player of the Year, South African Cricketer of the Year, Cricketers' Cricketer of the Year, SA Fan's Cricketer of the Year in 2015
Scored the most number of centuries (4) in less than 60 balls in the history of ODI
Scored the fastest ODI century (in just 31 balls) during the match against West Indies in 2015. At the 39th over of the same match, he recorded the fastest ODI half-century in only 16 balls. He also scored the fastest 150 in just 64 ODI deliveries during the World Cup match against West Indies in the same year.
Honoured as the Man of the Match in 5 Tests, 27 ODIs, and 7 T20s
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.
The pages of the history of cricket have numerous names encrypted in golden letters, but a few have their own spark that glitters a bit more each time whenever the page is turned. Abraham Benjamin de Villiers - The man of versatility who has numerous medals and accolades under his belt. His career path is an excellent example of sportsmanship and passion. He has dazzled the cricket pitch many times, leaving the grandstands completely shell-shocked. We can fairly call him Master Of All Formats who can fit in any role. Superman, Mr. Do it All, and Mr. 360 are the favourite tags of his fans by which they cheer up for their Super Hero.
Photo Credits: icc-cricket.com
Born in the Transvaal province of South Africa; Villiers enjoyed his early childhood there with his family. Villiers' father was a doctor who also had a brilliant rugby record, and the family has always boosted up his morale for sports. Hence, Villiers never stepped back from any curricular activity during his school days and used to participate in various sports events predominantly in hockey, swimming, rugby, badminton, athletics, golf and of course cricket with which he decided to stick further.
ABD's Prolific Cricket Career
Photo Credits: espncricinfo.com
ABD started showing a keen interest in cricket at the time when he was in school and was selected in the U-19 national cricket squad in 2002. He made a prolific debut in the following year by playing exceptionally well against the Western Province. With a fine experience of a first-class game, AB made his Test career debut in 2004 as an opening partner of Graeme Smith against England and scored a sublime 52 in his fourth batting inning. In the same series, ABD registered his first century and proved his knack in batting as well as wicket-keeping. During his first away tour to the Caribbean Islands in 2005, ABD scored amassing 460 runs. With the course of time, he became one of the most versatile batsmen of Proteas without whom the victories were used to be considered as knotting the hill. ABD with his consistent ODI performances raised as one of the most prominent batsmen of the South African ODI squad although the lead was tardy. But, what is quite appreciable is that ABD openly adapted almost all types of batting attributes without any qualm. Talking about his wicket-keeping, the world of cricket has regarded him as the successor of Mark Boucher. ABD's significant efforts in the national squad made it possible to earn the semi-final berth at the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The more he sharpened his skills in ODI matches, the more he was looked like a capable captain. With his acute ability to classical drives, pulls and flicks; he turned himself as the transformer who can switch to any role required in the team to beat the opponent off the pitch.
Photo Credits: thedailystar.net
In October 2008, ABD owned another record on his name by becoming the first South Africancricketer to score a double century against India with 217 runs. Following two years, he scored an unbeaten 278 runs against the team of Pakistan in November which is registered as the second-highest individual score by aSouth African batsman. After South Africa's exit from the World Cup 2011, ABD took over the captaincy of the national ODI and T20I squads. With his exceptional batting strokes, South Africa won the Test series against Australia in WACA. In 2015, he re-wrote the history after scoring 162 runs in just 66 balls against West Indies at Sydney Cricket Ground and owned the record for the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in the ODI history. ABD also holds the record for scoring the fastest century by a South African in Test cricket and the fastest 50 by a South African in the history of T20I. He is highly regarded as the face of innovation in modern day cricket. His excellent judgment for variable balls has often made him the most flexible player of Proteas.
Photo Credits: thesouthafrican.com
In 2016, ABD wore the hat of Test captain but ended the year paying high for the role after getting an elbow injury. After the treatment, he made a return to the limited overs format and resumed his Test game in 2017 in Boxing Day Test and played the spine role for the team during various home series against Australia and India. ABD's retirement announced on 23rd May 2018 was a shock to the entire world of cricket when everyone was expecting him to script new record at the upcoming World Cup.
Life beyond Sports
Photo Credits: cricketcountry.com
Apart from his exceptional potential in sports, Villiers is a gifted singer and has his own musical band with whom he often performs. He has also released a song "Show them who you are" which was sung as an anthem at South Africa's victory celebration in 2009. Not only this, ABD has a fantastic love life. In 2012, he proposed his girlfriend Danielle Swart in front of the Taj Mahal to whom he was dating for five years and the following year; they got married. Apart from cricket, ABD is a die-hard follower of Manchester United and has been following it for a long time.