Monday, 3 August 2020

‘Maak Jou Drome Waar’

Updated: October 6, 2016 3:34 pm

The world knows him as a quiet, polite, religious man, capable of batting skills which a lot of cricketers have not dreamed of.  The story begins with his romance with sports in childhood and one can almost trace the journey. Every moment in his childhood days was filled with a new adventure for young AB, who was full of dreams. He was very proud of that one cap of Jonty Rhodes, his idol.

The anecdotes are interesting and delightful. Why did little AB sulk on the roof of the club house while playing a tennis match? What happened when a bigger boy tried to mutilate his Jonty Rhodes cap? Why was he expelled from boarding house? Did you know what ‘Abbas’ and his friends did before leaving school?

He negates rumors spread by Sky Sports. He was not selected for the national hockey squad; he doesn’t hold any swimming or badminton records; he was never in line for competitive football selection; he did not play rugby at national level. True, he was a solid golfer and an excellent tennis player but ultimately the desire to participate in a team sport shifted the focus to Cricket completely. Apart from a sportsman, he is a singer too and has released his first album Maak Jou Drome Waar ( Make your dream come true) with his friend Ampie du Preez.

The book AB: The Autobiography is replete with his emotional sides. While his emotional sides give insights into his life, he also reveals his religious convictions in the book. He recalls two incidents that brought him close to God–one as a schoolboy and the other after their victory over Australia in 2008-09. Both brought  tears in his eyes and changed him as a sportsman.

AB: The Autobiography

AB de Villiers

Pan Macmilan

Price : `599     

Pages : 328

He wanted to be the best batsman in the world instead of being a regular batsman in the team. “It wasn’t going to be enough for me to be just another run-of-the-mill international batsman with an average in the mid 30s and, promised myself I would become the best batsman in the world”, AB says in the book.

For that he needed to give up his partying lifestyle, which was at one stage getting out of hand, perfect his technique, and professionalise himself. He describes how he assembled a support team around himself, which included an agent, a financial adviser and a personal assistant.

There are stories on how India and IPL have inspired him. “The Indian Premier League has gradually taken the intimidation factor out of cricket.” Those “AB AB” chants (especially when they cheered for him against India) were something very unique and unimaginable. “Above all, the chanting makes me feel humble and privileged and, of course, obliged to score some runs.” There are memories of his meetings with Nelson Mandela. He even quotes Rabindranath Tagore.

He expresses his opinion on match-fixing and the controversial selection of Vernon Philander ahead of Kyle Abbott for the 2015 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. He is quick to laugh at himself, too, after gathering four World Cup ducks and getting out to a delivery that bounced twice during a Test in Bangladesh.

One thing that would surprise many of us was the timing of his book, if he written it after his retirement, he could have added more ancedotes to his life.   Nonetheless, from his die-hard fans to his critics (if there are any) it’s a treat and a must read story of AB.

by Sorabh Aggarwal

15-10-2016

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