South Africa captain Faf du Plessis broke his silence on Monday on the controversy surrounding A.B.de Villiers wanting to come out of retirement for the World Cup, saying he had told the swashbuckler that it was too late to consider the offer.
After suffering three straight defeats in the ongoing World Cup, de Viliers offered to come out of retirement and join the squad, but his requests were denied by South Africa Cricket Board.
Speaking to the reporters after the rain-abandoned game against West Indies, Du Plessis revealed that he and his former teammate AB had telephonic conversation on this matter during the Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this year.
The revelation last week that the star batsman made a last-minute offer to come out of global retirement reportedly unsettled a team that had already lost its first three games.More news: The next Legend of Zelda is in development
De Villiers had announced his retirement from all forms on worldwide cricket in May, 2018 but continued to ply his trade for different franchises in the Twenty20 (T20) leagues all around the world.
Dale Benkenstein, the Proteas batting coach, admits that the tension of the World Cup has played a pivotal role in the poor performances thus far.
"Everybody agreed it was way, way too late to change (the squad)", he added. "It was just a "this is what I'm feeling" (phone call)." he said. He scored 440 runs at an average of 44.20.
Du Plessis insisted that the furore surrounding de Villiers' proposed return from global retirement has not been a factor in the team's disjointed display in the World Cup so far and instead he believes it could be the "sort of issue that draws the squad closer together".More news: Shenmue III E3 2019 trailer and Epic Games Store exclusivity
Du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson took the idea of de Villiers returning to the selection committee, but head selector Linda Zondi said it was rejected in fairness to the players who had already been picked.
When asked whether the development had impacted his side negatively, the Proteas skipper said, "I think a little bit of both". Addressing the same, du Plessis said: "We do feel like the news came in and went through the team. The team was happy to get on with business".
The South Africans will play No 10-ranked Afghanistan on Saturday in Cardiff and need to start a five-game winning roll there.
They haven't given up on making the semi-finals.More news: Scott Brown is co-leader at the RBC Canadian Open