Dear Abraham Benjamin “AB” de Villiers,
Heart-break. When, in a spur, all those dreams, those carefully built castles, those aspirations, those wants, that passion and that need breaks away, is when it’s a heart break. We all understand how painful it is. We do understand, what you have been through, to reach that place. We saw your commitments, your dedication and your will to never give up. You not only taught us the meaning of conviction, but also how to approach life in difficult times. You taught us how to breathe when choking.
No, your efforts are not in vain. You left a mark. A mark that is engraved deep, not only in the historical books of cricket, but also, in the depths of our hearts. Your boys did not lose today, they won once again, probably not in that scorecard which mattered, but in our hearts which is immortal. We saw you diving, to save those singles, to save boundaries or to build pressure. You were not unsuccessful.
With your each dive, we exclaimed in a greater silence of appreciation. Steyn’s commitment to bowl, even with a hamstring made us salute your team’s devotion. Imran’s carefully directed deliveries, were cheered by us all. Every time you hit a stroke, we celebrated, and our faces beamed with sheer contentment and joy. Every time there was a boundary hit by you– We thanked god like it’s our own. I repeat, you didn’t lose today, you won once again.
It was disheartening to see you cry, it is always disheartening to see the tears of a strong man. You are our strong man. You are our symbol of dedication, you are someone, who we can introduce as an idol to our children.
And for this very reason, I stand here, offering you my, my country’s and my world’s support. South Africa is a team, which rises like a phoenix, from ashes left over, from the menacing glare of its past. Show them that courage is not about never falling out, but, getting up from that fall and coming back to hit even harder. Tell the world that you leave with no regrets in mind – Tell the world that you have only taken a step forward. Tell them, that you have progressed. Tell them that, the day isn’t far when the world will be yours.
The world cup will certainly be yours one day, and as a lover of the game, I know, that day isn’t far.
A Cricket Lover.