"I got really fired up in the changing room and sort of played my knock before I even came out to bat", said De Villiers, who fell two balls short of breaking the all-time fastest century set in a Twenty20 game by who else but Chris Gayle.
"After fantastic series wins over India and Australia, now is the time to step aside".
Till November 2017, De Villiers was poised to feature in the showpiece event in England.
AB de Villiers joined Jacques Kallis in the middle and that is where the match changed.
'To cricket fans in South Africa and around the world, thank you very much for your kindness, generosity and today, for your understanding.
De Villiers, widely regarded as one of the most unsafe batsmen to play the game, announced on Wednesday he is retiring as he feels he is "running out of gas".
De Villiers debuted for South Africa in December 2004 and appeared in 114 Test matches.
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He was also South Africa's captain, wicketkeeper and best fielder at various stages of his career.
De Villiers does not have plans of playing overseas.
De Villiers, who had gone through the rigours of captaincy for some time before Faf du Plessis took over the responsibility, ends his career with more than 20,000 worldwide runs, falling short of the 10,000 mark in ODIs by a mere 423 runs. However, his retirement means that the Faf Du Plessis-led team would now be taking that flight to London next year without their talisman in the ranks. I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. He later took over the Test captaincy from Hashim Amla.
AB de Villiers scored his 22nd Test century in March.
He went on to play the Test series against India. Australia made a head start to the series by winning the first Test at Durban by 118 runs. During this innings, de Villiers' legend grew greater as he smacked the quickest ever 150 in ODIs at the SCG, driving South Africa to their highest World Cup score of 408/5.
South African cricket great AB de Villiers has announced his shock retirement from global cricket. His desire to play in and attempt to win the World Cup was thought to be among the key reasons he continued to play and it was expected the tournament would be a swansong for him, and several other South African seniors.
It was the ODI format, perhaps, that de Villiers enjoyed most. With nine fours and equalling Rohit Sharma's record of 16 sixes, he reached the three-figure mark off just 31 balls before finally perishing for 149 in the final over as South Africa posted a large 439/2.