AB De Villiers wanted to make a comeback to the side just before the World Cup, as per a report of ESPN Cricinfo.
South Africa lost three matches on the trot in this World Cup to England, Bangladesh and India and are on the verge of an early World Cup exit if they do not win their remaining matches.
One of the most destructive batsmen of the game, De Villiers retired a year before the World Cup on May, 2018 via a video message stating that he was "tired" and "running out of gas". However he is believed to have approached South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi, expressing his desire to reverse his retirement just 24 hours before the South African selectors named the 15-man squad. The request was turned down; mainly due to two reasons:
Primarily, De Villiers had retired in May 2018, exactly a year before the World Cup was scheduled. Thereafter, he did not fulfil the selection criteria, which included playing South African domestic cricket or international cricket in the intervening months.
Additionally, it was also felt that a recall for de Villiers would have been unfair on the players who have been performing in his absence, men such as Rassie van der Dussen, who made three fifties in his first fou Although he turned 35 in February, he demonstrated his enduring class with 442 runs at 44.20 for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the recent IPL, and he is due to link up with Middlesex in the T20 Blast immediately after the World Cup.
More recently, however, de Villiers has been dropping hints that he would be willing to renege on his decision. Speaking on Indian TV in May, around the time of his World Cup offer, he stated: "I was keen to play in the World Cup, but I left, I retired.
"It was a very sensitive situation," he added. "For the last three years of my career, I was labelled as a guy who is picking and choosing when I was playing and when not. So I got quite a lot of criticism from back home, which also played a role in me retiring.
"And it was difficult for me to then go 'Hey, but I'll still play the World Cup'. It's that picking and choosing thing again, and it's quite arrogant to do something like that. But as they say, you can't have your bread buttered on both sides."