It’s World Cup Final day: Afghanistan against East Africa. I’m sitting at the stadium with Steve Hofmeyr and Kevin Pietersen, in Hansie Cronje’s private box. It’s been a busy week for all of us: Kevin found out that Hansie is his real father, I found out that I’m not crazy, and Steve found that there is life after Brenda.
Kevin is wearing an oversized pair of sunglasses to hide the black eye he got from Steve, who feels terrible about the whole fracas. Steve was just trying to protect me, but Kevin has been subdued around him.
I’ve only got one eye on the cricket, because I’m really waiting to hear if Hansie has been successful in getting me home. This could be my last day in this crazy place or the first day of my long and tedious life in this dump of a parallel universe
First I wanted to punch Kevin Pietersen, then I wanted to comfort him, and finally I wanted to run away from him, because he’s gone mad. Or I’ve gone mad, or maybe we both have. He’s the captain of South Africa (but not the South Africa I thought I knew) but he still managed to mess up the World Cup semi-final.
If it were me playing (which it should be, but I’m trying to fix that) then I would have gone through to the finals. I mean, I will go through to the finals as soon as I find a way back to a world that makes sense.
That is not my immediate problem. Standing in the doorway of Kevin’s rank hotel room is his long-lost father, who is also my manager (and Steve Hofmeyr’s). He’s somehow behind Kevin’s captaincy. And I’m really surprised to see him alive.
I’ve been sleeping like a baby on this private jet. Which is to say, I’ve been waking up every hour or so and crying into the 500 thread count pillowcases. I’m AB, trapped in this crappy world where Steve Hofmeyr is the big brother I never had and Kevin Pietersen is still kak.
I wake up as the plane lands. Steve is standing over me, arms crossed. Whatever he’s waiting to spit out looks like it’s tasting sour in his mouth
At thirty-two thousand feet above sea level, cruising in a private jet with Steve Hofmeyr, it’s your humble narrator, AB. We’re on our way to Australia, to speak to Kevin Pietersen.
In case you are reading this chapter first and you are ignorant of the context, Kevin Pietersen is a complete dickhead. Also, he is captaining the South African cricket team tomorrow when they play Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals. You might think that this is normal (that Pietersen is captaining the team, not that he’s a dickhead). Trust me, it’s not.
AB here. I’m trying to talk myself down from bouncing off the walls before they put me in a room made of rubber. I’ve been alcohol-free for two hours now, which is my longest stretch of sobriety in a week. I’m really not enjoying it.
Steve Hofmeyr has cleaned me up and kept me from self-harm, but the kind of things he’s telling me are as heavy as encyclopaedias. I’m trying to swallow them, but they keep sticking in my throat
I’m still AB although I’m not sure of anything else. I’m trapped in a world where I’m known for my cover versions, not my cover drives. I just want to go back to my unassuming life as a cricket god. I don’t know how to get home.
Steve Hofmeyr is making me coffee while I slough off my dirt and shame in his Jacuzzi. He’s promised me both breakfast and some answers. I hope I have the stomach for them.
It’s me, AB. I’m not crazy. I’m living in an alternate reality, trying to get my old life back, but I’m not crazy. Tomorrow I meet the man who took everything from me. I really don’t know what I’ll do when I see him.
Before I do that I need to crawl the hell out of Steve Hofmeyr’s trailer and inhale a bottle of aspirin.
Hi, I’m AB de Villiers. None of the stories about me and the Spice Girls are true. Until a week ago my life made sense. I was a cricket superstar making extra pocket money from my YouTube channel. Now I’m the biggest Christian-Rock-slash-crossover artist in the world and my Proteas are being led by Kevin Pietersen.
Right now, right now-now I am trying to talk to Pietersen while my brain and liver discuss their murder-suicide pact. A week ago – or whenever time and reality still made sense – I didn’t choke. I hope I don’t choke now. Continue reading
When I went to sleep yesterday I was the man who would lead the South African national team into the semi-finals of the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
But when I woke up this morning I was in Steve Hofmeyr’s trailer, buried under a family-sized sack of blondes.
My name is AB de Villiers. I was – I am – the captain of the Proteas. This is my story Continue reading
The biggest threat to modern medicine might not be Jenny McCarthy and the rest of the anti-vaxxers. It might be our very own Test captain, Hashim Amla, the poster boy for “phlegmatic”. Continue reading