Cricket's greats pay tributes to AB de Villiers after shock retirement video

South Africa v Australia - 4th Test: Day 1

Cricket was rocked on Wednesday as AB de Villiers announced his immediate retirement from the international game.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, De Villiers has set records at Test, ODI, and Twenty20 level over a 14-year international career.

One of few men to have taken wickets, stumpings, and centuries at Test and ODI level, he captained South Africa in both formats.

He has slowly stepped down from positions over the past few years after feeling he couldn't keep up; De Villiers was replaced as captain in all formats by Faf du Plessis and announced he was giving up wicketkeeping due to back injuries earlier this year.

His final test century came in March of this year against Australia, over two years since his previous, with 124 in the second innings of the second test.

Needless to say, such a legend stepping down from the peak of the sport has led to a series of tributes from some of crickets biggest names.

Among them, Michael Vaughan and Sachin Tendulkar have weighed in on de Villiers' extraordinary career.

It's a series of wonderful tributes to a wonderful player and a man who clearly established a place in the game that very, very few have managed.

De Villiers is expected to continue in the IPL where he is contracted to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Announcing his retirement, de Villiers said: "I've had my turn and, to be honest, I'm tired.

"This is a tough decision. I've thought long and hard about it and I'd like to retire still playing decent cricket.

"It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas.

"For me, in green and gold, it must be everything or nothing."

You can check out the South African legends video announcement below:

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