Gibbs and Prince hit out at Faf over AB

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - ROBIN ADAMS

PROTEAS Test cap­tain Faf du Plessis has been crit­i­cised by for­mer team­mates fol­low­ing his com­ments about his pre­de­ces­sor, AB de Vil­liers, who he said had “earned the right to do what­ever he wants to”.

Du Plessis had com­mented on De Vil­liers’s de­ci­sion to make him­self un­avail­able for Test se­lec­tion.

For­mer Proteas bats­man Her­schelle Gibbs said on Twit­ter: “Cap­tain putting a player on a pedestal! Never thought I’d see this… any­way.”

Gibbs added: “( Jac­ques) Kal­lis achieved more than AB ever will, but he kept on play­ing and never dis­re­spected the team and the game. Re­mem­ber that.

“Has noth­ing to with ad­min­is­tra­tors, that’s the na­tional cap­tain speak­ing! Did (Graeme) Smith ever say Kal­lis could do that? And he achieved more.”

Ash­well Prince, a for­mer Test cap­tain, also tweeted: “Ridicu­lous state­ment (by Du Plessis). Just won­der­ing at

which point then @am­la­hash (Hashim Amla) will be al­lowed to do what he wants. Soon it’s free for all.”

The Proteas re­cently lost a four-Test se­ries 3-1 in Eng­land with­out the 106-capped De Vil­liers.

“I think the gen­eral frus­tra­tion of sup­port­ers in South Africa is that peo­ple feel if AB was there, we’d have had a bet­ter chance of win­ning the se­ries. I am of the same opinion,” Prince said.

“South Africans want to win, we all want to win. So peo­ple are say­ing if AB was there we’d have a bet­ter chance. And I agree with that.

“I think there might be a deeper rea­son why AB is not cur­rently play­ing Test cricket.

“I think as far as I know, and I’ll stick my neck out here, he’s al­ways been com­mit­ted to South African cricket.

“And if there are any other is­sues… per­haps per­sonal, per­haps some­thing be­tween him and Cricket SA, maybe it’s best for AB and his own rep­u­ta­tion also that that comes out.

“Be­cause his rep­u­ta­tion is be­ing tar­nished at the mo­ment.

“My com­ments are not about AB de Vil­liers. My com- ments are about the no­tion, or the sug­ges­tion by Faf, that AB can do what he wants,” he added.

“My view would be ex­actly the same if he (Du Plessis) was say­ing Hashim could do what he wants or Ver­non (Phi­lan­der) could do what he wants.

“My view is sim­ple – no­body in the team should ever be al­lowed to do just as they want.

“I think it’s reck­less of the cap­tain to sug­gest that any player, re­gard­less of who that player is, can do just as they want in the na­tional team en­vi­ron­ment.

“I think the na­tional team is more im­por­tant than any­body.

“Where do you draw the line? Be­cause Hashim has played as many matches as AB de Vil­liers, so then do you say Hashim you can also do what you want?

“And then who is the next se­nior player? ‘ Oh, Ver­non, you’re like a su­per­star as well and you can also do what you want.’

“And then where do you draw the line?”

De Vil­liers’s Test fu­ture, along with the racial make-up of the Proteas team, has been heav­ily de­bated by com­men­ta­tors and on so­cial me­dia.

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