The South African team has always been shocked at the crucial ICC World Cup matches, something similar happened in the semi-finals of the World Cup 2015.
He was broken and had a big role in his decision to suddenly retire from international cricket.
South Africa suffered a 4-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup rain-affected semi-final on the basis of the Duckworth Lewis rule. De Villiers admitted that he had to contend with the shock of the defeat.
De Villiers told Harsha Bhogle, “It broke me but I continued to play, I made every effort, tried to stay connected with cricket. I was batting quite well. I still have great memories,” he said.
De Villiers, 36, considered one of the all-time best batsmen, had said goodbye to his 14-year international career in 2018 while he was at the top of his game at that time.
De Villiers, who spoke at the time, had said that he was “no longer left” and was “feeling tired”. The former captain, however, said the defeat against New Zealand played a big role in his decision.
De Villiers, who scored 8,765 in 114 Tests for South Africa and 9,577 in 228 ODI matches, said, “From a personal perspective, yes, it played a big role. That night we lost the game and it was difficult for me to recover from that defeat that year,” he said.
De Villiers said, “We had to start again but I was in a position to stay, I have not been able to lose this World Cup so far. It hurt a lot. So yes, I am very sensitive and how I feel that such things play a big role in it.”
The South African team never performed as expected in the World Cup and had also suffered disappointment in the 1992 and 1999 editions. De Villiers said he had to contend with the 2015 defeat for a year and regretted that he could not keep his feelings openly.