South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis revealed on Monday that talks to convince retired batsman AB de Villiers to come back to the national team had started months ago.

South Africa are trying to rope in the swashbuckling batter ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia in October next year.

“Those conversations have been happening two or three months ago,” said Du Plessis as quoted by AFP.

Notably, newly-appointed South Africa coach Mark Boucher had also said that he may consider convincing recently retired players, including AB de Villiers, to turn out for South Africa going into the 2020 World T20 or beyond.

“When you go to a World Cup, you want your best players playing for you. If I feel he is one of your best players, why wouldn’t I want to have a conversation with him? I’ve only just got into the job, I might have conversations with quite a few players and see where they are,” Boucher was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

35-year-old De Villiers, a former captain in all formats for South Africa and rated among the greatest players the country has produced, retired from international cricket in March 2018. He has since been active in the franchise-based T20 tournaments around the world.

“You want your best players playing in the World Cup and if there’s a couple of issues you need to iron out, with media, with teammates, and if it’s for the good of South Africa, why not, let’s do it,” Boucher said.

Meanwhile, the coach added that he would welcome the possibility of players who have left the South African setup for County cricket via the Kolpak rule, returning to the fold.