A sportsman (or woman) is often defined by their ability in one sport. The greats will transcend that sport and make themselves a household name around the world. But to find a single person who generates unquantifiable envy for their abilities across multiple sports, is almost impossible. To find one with great humility, intelligence and good grace is even harder.
AB de Villiers displays all these wonderful features, while producing world leading, record-breaking, history making performances in his notable forte; cricket.
The South African is regarded as the world’s best batsman, with performances at the highest levels of domestic and International cricket, in all forms, carving his name into cricketing folklore. In January of this year he smashed the fastest century in international history, when he launched the West Indies all over Johannesburg for a 31-ball ton.
That’s more than three runs every delivery! And has since followed this up on the biggest stage of all, again crucifying the Windies, with a 66 ball 162* in the World Cup.
But it’s not just 2015 where de Villiers has excelled, as he averages more than 50 with the bat, in both Test and One-Day cricket. For many this would be enough. But the Pretoria-born Protea has much more history to his name.
The list of his achievements is almost as long as my arm. In fact, it’s probably longer…
- been short-listed for national Hockey and Football teams
- captained the South African junior Rugby team (he was regarded as one of the best young fly-halfs in the country)
- got six SA swimming records to his name
- the fastest 100m time by a South African junior
- been a member of the SA junior Davis Cup team
- won the under-19 National Badminton championships
- a Golf handicap of scratch
Amazingly though, it doesn’t stop there for this incredible human being…
While at school, Afrikaanse Hoer Soenskool, de Villiers received a prestigious medal from the late Nelson Mandela. For sport you would surely think? No. For a science project. Is there anything this man can’t do?
Simply put, I don’t think there’s anything that AB cannot do. You know, there actually may be one thing he lacks the ability to achieve – the ability to find a better all round sportsman than himself!