Faf du Plessis has confirmed ongoing discussions over a possible comeback for AB de Villiers to South Africa's T20I side ahead of the T20 World Cup next year in Australia.
De Villiers bowed out of international cricket in a shock announcement in May 2018, opting to don the role of a T20 freelancer.
He later reportedly made himself available for selection for the ICC World Cup in England and Wales - an offer rebuked by the South Africa selectors since he reached out to them on the eve of the final selection of the squad.
With the deteriorating state of South Africa cricket continuing to be a major concern, it has now emerged the star batter could make an international return.
Expressing his thoughts after leading Paarl Rocks to a title win in the Mzansi Super League, du Plessis admitted "conversations" were taking place to fast-track de Villiers back into the team.
"People want AB to play and I am no different. Those conversations have been happening for two or three months already," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
Du Plessis admitted workload management was one key factor in deciding a suitable time to include the 35-year-old in the national set-up.
South Africa's white-ball schedule sees them take on England, Australia, West Indies and potentially Sri Lanka in the shortest format before the showpiece event in October.
"What does it look like? How does it look over the next year? That's where it starts."
"T20 cricket is a different beast, it's not a lot of time away from home," he added.
"The T20 World Cup is not too far away and there isn't a lot - I reckon 20 T20s over the season - which won't be that hard on one to do that. Those conversations have already taken place."
Du Plessis' remarks echo the sentiments conveyed by newly appointed Proteas head coach Mark Boucher a few days ago.
Boucher, who also coached MSL franchise Tshwane Spartans that featured de Villiers, said he was open to the idea of coaxing him out of retirement.