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“AB only kept the wickets to keep me out of the playing XI”- Thami Tsolekile slams AB de Villiers



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Thami Tsolekile has claimed that AB de Villiers only kept the wickets for South Africa to keep him out of the playing XI.

Tsolekile was one of the top wicketkeepers in South Africa between 2011 and 2015. Cricket South Africa (CSA) handed him a contract and picked him in the squad for international matches as a backup wicketkeeper.

However, he never played a game for the Proteas during that period.

During the SJN hearings, Thami alleged that AB de Villiers wanted to take up wicket-keeping responsibilities only after Mark Boucher retired. This move did not allow Tsolekile to make it to the playing XI.

“AB only kept when I was there (challenging for a spot in the Test side), he didn’t want to keep when Boucher was keeper, he wanted to keep when I was there. You could see what was happening,” Thami Tsolekile was quoted as saying by IOL.

“The most disappointing thing was, there were guys, who were convenors – Linda Zondi a convenor, a black guy – who didn’t say anything,” the 40-year-old added.

AB de Villiers’ debut Test was Thami Tsolekile’s last international match for South Africa

Thami Tsolekile played three Test matches for the South African cricket team.
Thami Tsolekile played three Test matches for the South African cricket team.

Thami Tsolekile has played three Tests in his career. He made his Test debut against India in 2004 and later that year played his last Test against England. Incidentally, AB de Villiers made his Test debut in that game.

It was the only international game featuring both De Villiers and Tsolekile in the South African playing XI.

After 2004, Tsolekile scored heaps of runs in the domestic arena. However, he never got an opportunity to play.

In 2016, Cricket South Africa banned Thami along with Jean Symes, Ethy Mbhalati and Pumelela Matshikwe for breaching the board’s Anti-Corruption Code.