Off the pitch, AB does not miss lime­light

I’ve al­ways been shy, he says

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - ANA RE­PORTER

IF GOOD food and an ex­cep­tional once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence are what you’re look­ing for this week­end, then look no fur­ther than the Ap­petite Fest.

Time Square will be where any gas­tro­nomic fa­natic should be gath­ered to­day and to­mor­row, as the first ever Ap­petite Fest kicks off.

The event prom­ises not only to be just an­other food and wine fes­ti­val, but will be of­fer­ing rev­ellers lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional food he­roes.

While bring­ing front­line vine­yards, cheese mak­ers and a wide va­ri­ety of craft brew­ers, the fam­ily out­doors ex­pe­ri­ence will be pre­sent­ing culi­nary artists such as Gary Me­hi­gan, Ge­orge Calom­baris and Matt Pre­ston of Masterchef Aus­tralia fame, and a Miche­lin star chef from the UK.

Not to be missed are lo­cal favourites Siba Mton­gana, Sarah Gra­ham, restau­ra­teur J’Some­thing and Peter Tem­pel­hoff, just to name a few.

To add to this will be dis­plays and of­fer­ings of craft gin, cham­pagne, pam­per ses­sions and sushi for the ladies.

Chil­dren are also catered for by the kids zone, which will have jump­ing cas­tles, a ball pit, face paint­ing, kids cook­ing theatre and much more to keep them safe and en­ter­tained.

And good food wouldn’t be com­plete without a large va­ri­ety of gourmet food trucks, co­me­di­ans and live en­ter­tain­ment.

Times Square gen­eral man­ager Brett Hoppe said: “We’re thrilled to an­nounce the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the Ap­petite Fest, a cel­e­bra­tion of South African food and en­ter­tain­ment. This is more than good food and wine, its go­ing to be lekker, bru.”

HAV­ING re­tired from in­ter­na­tional cricket in May, South Africa leg­end AB de Vil­liers has opened up about not chas­ing the lime­light.

The 34-year-old an­nounced that his South Africa ca­reer was com­ing to an end in May, and with an av­er­age of over 50 in both the Test and One Day In­ter­na­tional (ODI) are­nas, he will go down as one of the great­est bats­men ever.

De­spite his dev­as­tat­ing ex­ploits in the IPL and nu­mer­ous other world­wide events in which he took cen­tre stage, De Vil­liers doesn’t miss the lime­light.

“I know noth­ing will com­pare to that feel­ing of scor­ing hun­dreds in a big game. Thou­sands of peo­ple chant­ing your name. But in all fair­ness, I don’t miss it. Not yet. Maybe a year down the line. I’m still go­ing to play for a few years; I’ll still play a lit­tle bit around the world. But on my own terms. I’ve al­ways been shy. I don’t re­ally like at­ten­tion too much. It’s… quite ironic. But I get em­bar­rassed quite a bit.”

De Vil­liers called it quits a month af­ter av­er­ag­ing a whop­ping 71.16 in the home se­ries vic­tory in Tests against Aus­tralia, in­di­cat­ing that he was still at the top of his game tech­ni­cally. How­ever, be­ing his na­tion’s tal­is­man in all cricket for­mats was a drain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and even­tu­ally took its toll.

“It’s been un­bear­able at times: the pres­sure you have to face, per­form­ing day in and day out. The ex­pec­ta­tions that you put on your­self, from fans, from the coun­try, from coaches. It is huge, and it’s some­thing that’s on your mind all the time as a crick­eter. And it’s def­i­nitely some­thing that I’m not go­ing to miss. I’m very happy to have stepped away. Ab­so­lutely no re­grets.

“I was pre­pared to em­brace it, to fight the pres­sure. And I’m happy that I did. But it cer­tainly takes its toll af­ter a while. I feel there is room for play­ers to be more hon­est about it, hav­ing sys­tems in place to make sure they keep fresh and men­tally healthy.

“I was cer­tainly not men­tally ill at the time, but I can re­late to the fact that pres­sure can re­ally drive you down, and make you so tired.”

De Vil­liers also ex­pressed his de­vo­tion to Test cricket. “I don’t un­der­stand why peo­ple are neg­a­tive about cricket,” he told The In­de­pen­dent. “I be­lieve it’s in a great place, but there are some ar­eas that we need to bal­ance out.

“T20 has changed the face of the game. It’s brought so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple to the game, and made the aware­ness around the world so much big­ger.

“I love Test cricket, and I think it’s go­ing nowhere. But the ICC has a re­ally big role to play in mak­ing sure all the for­mats sur­vive.”– African News Agency (ANA)

Proteas leg­end AB de Vil­liers says he does not miss the lime­light.

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