Cricket South Africa (CSA) has paid tribute to former Proteas batsman AB de Villiers , who announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old De Villiers said "the time is right' for him to hang up his boots, bringing a close to a sterling 14-year career.
He represented his country in 114 Tests, 228 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 78 T20 Internationals.
"AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern day batting in all three formats but particularly in the white ball ones to new levels," CSA president Chris Nenzani said via a press statement.
Nenzani added: "What is probably more important is the inspiration he has been to his team-mates, whether playing at international or domestic level, and the wonderful role model he has been to all our aspiring youngsters. It goes without saying that he is going to be greatly missed wherever international cricket is played. We thank him for the contribution he has made to South African cricket and specifically to make the Proteas world leaders and we wish him and his family everything of the best in his future endeavours."
CSA's acting CEO Thabang Moroe said it was a disappointing decision but one that should be respected. "AB has been a colossus on the world stage for well over a decade and we are indeed grateful that most of this time he has been wearing the colours of our beloved Proteas. We all have our standout memories of his career and they are all very happy ones. I think particularly of the way he was embraced by the whole of India when he led the Proteas to their ODI Series victory in India a few years ago.
"He has captained the Proteas with distinction in all the international formats and his many achievements include making our first double century in a Test in India in 2008 and being a key member of our Test side when they scored their first ever away series wins in England and Australia and ascended to the No 1 ranking in 2012.
"His ability to improvise has made him known as Mr. 360 degrees in white ball cricket and we will never ever forget those remarkable innings that earned him the fastest 50. 100 and 150 in ODI cricket. We are immensely grateful for what he has meant to South African cricket in all its constituencies and we wish him and his family everything of the best for the future."
De Villiers retires with an incredible Test average of 50.66 and as the fourth-highest run-scorer for South Africa with 8 765 runs (22 centuries). His exploits in the limited-overs formats have been extraordinary, and he finishes as the No 2-ranked player in the world and as the second highest run-scorer behind Jacques Kallis with 9 577 runs at an average of 53.50.