THE AB de Villiers bombshell that rocked South African cricket last week did not have a major impact on the mindset of the Proteas squad at the World Cup.
That is the message from national skipper Faf du Plessis, who himself is a central figure in the saga.
Du Plessis confirmed on Monday that he received a call from De Villiers on the night before the World Cup squad announcement on 18 April.
During that call, Du Plessis said that De Villiers expressed an interest to be included in the World Cup squad.
Du Plessis said he then relayed that message to coach Ottis Gibson and convener of selectors Linda Zondi, but the decision was taken to leave De Villiers out of the squad because he had left it far too late to avail himself.
When the story broke last Thursday, the Proteas had just come off a six-wicket loss to India at the Rose Bowl that left them reeling with three straight losses at the tournament.
As if the pressure on the players wasn’t intense enough already, they then had to be exposed to public reaction from back in South Africa that questioned why De Villiers was not included at the final minute.
Du Plessis acknowledged that the Proteas had discussed the matter briefly at a team meeting ahead of Monday’s washed out clash against West Indies, and that everyone was on the same page.
“We do feel like the news came in and like went through the team.
“It didn’t have a huge impact,” he said.
“There was just a discussion on clarity and on making sure everyone knows what’s going on and then it was moving on.
“The team was happy to get on with business.
“Stuff like that, generally, you feel like it can give you direction in your team and give you purpose to focus on what lies ahead.”
The Proteas now have one log point from four matches. They are next in action when they take on Afghanistan in Cardiff on Saturday. – SPORT24