Aaj TV

Former South Africa international AB de Villiers said he has decided to retire from all forms of cricket having lost his hunger for the game, bringing to an end a 17-year career where he established himself as one of his country's greats.

De Villiers had retired from all international formats in May 2018 but was in talks about a return to the limited overs side for the Twenty20 World Cup before deciding against playing for the Proteas again.

The 37-year-old was still involved in franchise cricket, last playing in the Indian Premier League for Bangalore, who described his retirement as the "end of an era" after a decade with the south Indian side.

"It has been an incredible journey, but I have decided to retire from all cricket," De Villiers said in a statement on Friday.

"Ever since the backyard matches with my older brothers, I have played the game with pure enjoyment and unbridled enthusiasm. Now, at the age of 37, that flame no longer burns so brightly.

"That's the reality I must accept - and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement today. I've had my time. Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me."

An explosive and entertaining batsman who also kept wicket, De Villiers has often been referred to as "Mr 360" for his wide range of shots which found all corners of the boundary.

De Villiers retires with over 20,000 runs to his name in tests, one-day internationals and T20Is for South Africa and 9,424 runs in T20s.

He holds the record for the fastest ODI century, reaching triple figures in just 31 deliveries in a knock of 149 against the West Indies in Johannesburg in 2015, smashing 16 sixes and nine boundaries.

India's Virat Kohli, who once described Bangalore team mate De Villiers as the IPL's "most impactful match-winner", said his decision to retire "hurts his heart" but knew it was made keeping the South African's family in mind.

"To the best player of our times and the most inspirational person I've met, you can be very proud of what you've done and what you've given to RCB, my brother," Kohli said on Twitter.