23/05/2018 17:18 SAST | Updated 23/05/2018 17:23 SAST

Farewell AB De Villiers: Celebrating 5 Of His Best Innings

The beloved former Proteas captain is one of cricket's all-time greats. We shall miss him at next year's World Cup...

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Abraham Benjamin de Villiers, better known as "AB" to legions of SA cricket fans, has announced his retirement from all international cricket with immediate effect.

According to Sport24, De Villiers' decision comes as a massive blow to the Proteas, who would have been counting on him for next year's World Cup at the end of May.

"This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it, and I'd like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside," De Villiers said.

HuffPost wishes the cricket legend all the best as he retires after a career spanning more than a decade — with grateful thanks for the 114 Tests, 228 One Day Internationals and 78 T20s [20-over matches] he played for the Proteas. We believe he's helped transform the way cricket is played across the world, and dazzled us in the process.

Born on February 17 1984, De Villiers grew into a supremely talented cricketer and a gem of a batsman, when it came to tearing apart bowling attacks. Today, he is still ranked as one of the best batsmen in the world — sixth in the ICC current batting rankings — in all formats of the game.

Here are five of his best innings, according to SportsKeeda:

217* vs India, Ahmedabad, 2008

After being bowled out for just 76 on the first morning, India never stood a chance. De Villiers consolidated South Africa's batting with a brilliant 217 — the first double century by a South African against India.

278* vs Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, 2010

This was a drawn test, in which AB batted first on flat track for 10 straight hours, scoring what was then the highest test score by a South African ever. He took South Africa from 33/3 to 584/7.

149 vs West Indies, Johannesburg, 2015

This day, January 18 2015, was one that went down in the cricket annals. De Villiers walked out to bat at number three in the 39th over, and made the fastest century in the history of ODI cricket — taking just 31 balls.

112 vs India, Chennai, 2015

Hot and humid weather made a difficult batting surface tougher, but although AB was under pressure because wickets kept falling at regular intervals, he managed an impressive 112 off 107 deliveries. India nevertheless beat South Africa by 26 runs.

106* vs Australia, Perth, 2008

In this Test, the batting genius' unbeaten 106 wasn't all that made it memorable. The Proteas secured 414 runs for victory, historically chasing down their second-highest total in the fourth innings.