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Kirsten approached De Villiers to captain Proteas during an IPL match

June 9, 2011 - Johannesburg

South Africa's new cricket coach Gary Kirsten offered the role of Proteas skipper to Ab de Villiers in Bangalore during an Indian Premier League (IPL) game.

De Villiers (27) was this week made South Africa's one-day and Twenty20 skipper. Graeme Smith will still be at the helm in Tests.

De Villiers, who played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, revealed on Tuesday night at Cricket South Africa's (CSA) annual awards evening how he was approached by Kirsten.

"He put the plans on the table and asked whether I would be prepared to do it. Of course one could not say no to something like that," Sports24 quoted De Villiers, as saying.

"I was a little dumbstruck because he is one of my heroes and it was great to see him," he said.

"Kirsten was in India to give a talk. He phoned me and said he would like to share his thoughts with me. I initially thought he would only be discussing batting with me. He previously helped me with that," De Villliers said.

He further said it was a huge surprise when Kirsten came up with the offer. "I think we will work very well together," he said.

De Villiers made his Test debut as opening batsman in 2004 - the same year in which Kirsten retired.


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