Weary De Villiers to cut back on schedule

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) South Africa's AB de Villiers said Monday he is being worn out by the amount of cricket he's playing, although a newspaper report that he might retire from tests after the current series against England was just ''rumors.''

De Villiers said in an interview with broadcaster SuperSport that he would look at sitting out some of South Africa's matches ''to keep myself fresh and to keep enjoying the game.''

''It's just important to look at the schedule moving forward, that's the talk in the camp and for me maybe not to play all kinds of cricket,'' De Villiers said ahead of the third day of the first test against England in Durban.

South Africa would likely use limited-overs games to give the 31-year-old De Villiers a rest, although he didn't rule out missing some tests.

De Villiers' comments came a day after a newspaper reported he and fast bowler Dale Steyn were considering giving up tests after the four-match series.

That would cause major disruption for a top-ranked South Africa team already in transition and seeing its previous strength diminished by the retirements over the last two years of Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith.

''(A) Lot of rumors flying around I hear,'' De Villiers said of the imminent retirement report. ''For the last 2-3 years the only talk I've been doing is to keep myself fresh and to have a bit of rest here and there. It's always been the most important thing for me to enjoy my cricket.''

De Villiers is a vital player for South Africa in all formats, and its one-day captain. He also cited the Indian Premier League as a factor for his fatigue.

The amount of work De Villiers takes on is again an issue for South Africa after he was given wicket-keeping duties for the start of the England series to go along with his important position as No. 4 batsman.

Steyn's workload as South Africa's leading bowler has also come under scrutiny after he missed most of the Proteas' recent series loss in India with a groin injury, and then sustained a shoulder strain that saw him leave the field on Monday against England.