I'll always wear a helmet, says wary De Villiers

 

Canterbury

South Africa's new wicketkeeper emphasised yesterday the importance of wearing a helmet while standing up to the wicket. AB de Villiers will take over the job for the first Test against England in the direst of circumstances from the long-serving Mark Boucher, who was forced to retire on Tuesday after his eyeball was lacerated by a flying bail.

As De Villiers prepared for his unexpected change of role, starting with the tour match against Kent today, he said: "I always try and wear a helmet unless it's really, really low and slow. Mark always, funnily enough, always wears a helmet as well.

"So the reason he didn't have a helmet on that day I don't know... it just felt like it was a warm-up game and... It was a freakish accident that happened and I will definitely have a helmet on, like always. I had it on the whole Indian Premier League and I'll keep doing the same."

De Villiers is no stranger to the position having already taken over as the country's one-day keeper and the likelihood was that he would have become the Test keeper after the series against England if Boucher, as widely anticipated, had retired at the end of it.

Like many others since Boucher's dreadful accident at Taunton on Monday in the first match of South Africa's tour, De Villiers wants a custom-designed wicketkeeping helmet. The job entails standing up at the stumps more and more, especially in limited-overs games, with the corresponding increase in injury risk.

"I think it's stupid to keep without a helmet on and, going forward, helmet companies will start investing in proper keeping helmets, maybe a different design," he said. "I think Albion is busy with a design at the moment."

De Villiers expects an intense contest between the No 1 (England) and No 2 (South Africa) countries in the world. Sledging may well play a part.

"It's always easy to talk when you're on top," said De Villiers. "I do have a few things to say to some of the guys that Mark would have said, and he's passed on a few things to say. He said, 'Whatever happened to me is OK, but so long as you pass the messages on.' I said I'll do it.

"No, it's always played in good spirit and it's all about getting the momentum without going over the top when it comes to sledging. I think both teams respect each other a hell of a lot. We've both played some amazing cricket over the last couple of years and it's going to be a really great series."

He did not demur when invited to pay tribute to the South African-born players who will play for England, especially Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott, who learned most of their cricket in the country.

"I take my hat off to them," he said. "They made a massive move early on in their careers, and they're playing really well. They're respectable cricketers and we have a lot of respect for what they've achieved. I can't imagine myself as a 20-year-old boy coming to England and trying to make my way."

South Africa should play the XI today that they intend to field in the opening Test at the Oval next Thursday.

 



Arts and Entertainment
TV Review: Sabotage, a meltdown and, of course, plenty of sauce
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100'Geography can be tough'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
sport
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?