The Hindu

‘Only thing left for him is to speak some Hindi’

- PRINCIPAL CORRESPOND­ENT

BENGALURU:

A.B. de Villiers may downplay the significan­ce of playing a hundred Test matches, but the scale of the achievemen­t is clearly not lost on his family.

In attendance at the M. Chinnaswam­y Stadium on Saturday were the 31-yearold’s wife (with their infant son), and his parents.

“I was a bit surprised that the crowd was chanting ‘AB, AB’. I almost thought they would mourn when he was given out!” his father, A.B. de Villiers Sr., said. “The only thing left for him is to speak some Hindi.”

‘He had something special’

A.B. Sr. shed some light on his son’s aptitude for multiple sports. “When he grew up as a little boy, I saw a couple of things in him — not cricket but other sports like tennis and golf, where he had something special. I used to lie in bed thinking I had to take this boy to Ernie Els because he used to strike the golf ball so well when he was still little,” he said.

de Villiers’s mother, Millie, spoke of her son’s imperturba­ble nature. “He’s not that calm (off the field) but he’s someone who works a lot,” she said.

“He’s very discipline­d. He was like that even as a child. He loved his friends. The house was always full of mates and they were playing so many games.”

Millie was not surprised it was cricket he chose to play profession­ally.

Team guy

“He’s a team guy. He’s not someone who can take up an individual sport like tennis. So that was on his mind when he had to choose,” she said.

“Coming from an academic family I would have loved for him to have a degree,” A.B. Sr. admitted, “but it’s much better now.”

 ??  ?? PROUD PARENTS:
A.B. de Villiers Sr. and Millie watch their son's milestone centenary Test in Bengaluru on Saturday.
PROUD PARENTS: A.B. de Villiers Sr. and Millie watch their son's milestone centenary Test in Bengaluru on Saturday.

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