In his retirement video yesterday, AB De Villiers did not forget to thank his teammates, coaches and all those who were involved with his cricket
Tributes flew thick and fast for AB de Villiers as soon as the South African superstar announced his shock retirement from international cricket yesterday. Ramesh Mane (fondly known as Mane kaka), the former masseur of the Indian team and currently with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, was stunned when informed about the ex-SA skipper’s retirement. “Just a few days ago, he took that sensational single-handed catch [against Sunrisers Hyderabad] on the boundary line,” Mane told mid-day as he took a few seconds for the news to sink in.’
Mane has spent several seasons in the RCB dressing room. “AB is special. He too calls me Mane kaka and is always humble and grounded. You’d never see him angry or insulting anyone. Even now, when I message him about something, he replies instantly. “The biggest quality of AB is that he is always very grateful to everyone. He is a perfect role model for all youngsters,” said Mane, who was the Indian team’s masseur when Rahul Dravid’s men toured South Africa in 2006-07 and young AB was part of the Test team.
In his retirement video yesterday, AB de Villiers did not forget to thank his teammates, coaches and all those who were involved with his cricket. Mane is not surprised by De Villiers’ display of gratitude. “People could connect with him; everyone who is at the ground could do that. Just like chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’, people would also chant ‘AB, AB’. He can hypnotise fans with his game. He is very particular about his training and fitness regime. His commitment to the team is great. “There are no dramas with him and he goes about his business on and off the field without seeking attention. He is a very selfless cricketer,” concluded Mane.