"AB has become the most valuable cricketer on the planet."
-ADAM GILCHRIST

AB de Villiers is one of the finest batsmen ever to play cricket, and yet his achievement extends beyond his outrageous armoury of drives, pulls, paddles, scoops and flicks.

Whether he is delighting home crowds at the Wanderers or Newlands or setting new records in Bengaluru or Sydney, he plays the game in a brave, whole-hearted, smiling manner that projects a positive image of his country around the world and also makes millions of South Africans feel good about themselves.

His popularity continues to grow, measured not only by more than two million followers on Twitter and hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook but most vividly by the electric buzz of anticipation that sizzles through the grandstands whenever and wherever he strides to the crease. This is AB's story, in his own words...the story of the youngest of three talented, sports-mad brothers growing up in Warmbaths, of a boy who was nurtured at one of Pretoria's finest schools and who excelled at tennis, rugby and cricket, of a youngster who made his international debut at the age of 20 and was then selected in every single Test played by South Africa for the next 11 seasons, of a batsman who has started to redefine the art, dominating bowling attacks in every form of the game and being ranked among the world's very best in Test, ODI and T20.

Through all the pyrotechnics and consistency, AB has remained a true sportsman in all the best senses of the word - quick to deflect praise, swift to praise opponents, eager to work hard, to embrace the team's next challenge and to relish what he still regards as the huge privilege of representing his country.

This is the story of a modern sporting phenomenon. The statistics tell barely half the story but, so far, AB de Villiers has scored 14 000 runs in 98 Tests for South Africa, 8 000 runs in 190 one-day internationals and more than 40 000 runs in his professional career. He is mainly distinguished by the style in which he bats and his humble, determined captaincy of the South African national team in one-day international cricket.