Last Sunday, a friend gifted me a copy of AB de Villier’s autobiography “AB” for my birthday. I have only managed to read three chapters but two things have already blown my mind.
- AB has spoken with God. Not once, but twice.
- AB has clarified claims about him being the greatest sportsman ever.
Let us take the second mind-blowing revelation first.
Here is a screenshot of the Sky Sports article on AB De Villiers which appeared on 28 February 2015. I have set out below AB’s clarifications from Chapter 3 of his book against each of these claims.
“Collaborated with South African singer-songwriter Ampie du Preez on the song Make Your Dreams Come True which has 138,290 hits on YouTube. We’ll let you be the judge.” COULD NOT VERIFY ON YOUTUBE but AB’s rendition of “Yeh Dosti” on YouTube has 843,526 views as of 19 October 2016. Go check it out.
“De Villiers was shortlisted for South African national hockey and football squads.” FALSE. ABdV has never played beyond school level at hockey and has only ever played football (soccer) at cricket warm-ups!
“He was the captain of South Africa junior rugby.” FALSE. ABdV played rugby at school level but not at national level, nor was he captain!
“Is still the holder of six national school swimming records.” FALSE. ABdV claims that broke his school’s under-9 breakstroke record, but no national records.
“Has the record fastest 100m time among South African junior sprinters.” FALSE. ABdV did not sprint at school. He says that the only way he can beat Usain Bolt is on a motorbike.
“Was a member of the national junior Davis Cup tennis team.” ALMOST TRUE. ABdV played a lot of tennis and was ranked no.1 or 2 at the junior level before he gave up to concentrate on cricket. And what is the junior national Davis Cup team?
“A national under-19 badminton champion.” FALSE. ABdV has played one game of (friendly) badminton in his life with Mark Boucher.
“Received a national medal from Nelson Mandela for a science project.” FALSE. ABdV has met Mandela twice, both with the South African cricket team.
“Plays off a handicap of scratch in golf.” FALSE. ABdV’s golf handicap was once at 1 but his current handicap is 9.
Naturally this is disappointing for some of you but let me just say that it takes nothing away from AB – he remains a fantastic cricketer we are all lucky to watch. However, one would have thought that Sky Sports would have relied upon something more than a Whatsapp forward while writing it’s articles. This article is more like an April Fools’ Day joke. Great stuff from AB to set the record straight! What a legend.
Almost forgot about the first of AB’s revelations – I’m afraid I just find it hard to believe he has only ever spoken to Tendulkar twice in his entire career. Sorry.
Will write a fuller review once I finish reading the whole book.
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