Putting an end to all the speculations surrounding his participation in the Big Bash League, former South Africa skipper AB de Villiers has signed up for Brisbane Heat. One of the most sought after batsmen of this generation, AB de Villiers will play his trade in Australia in the second half of the tournament.
The Heat have roped him in as a replacement for their former star man Brendon McCullum. The former New Zealand skipper announced his retirement from all forms of the game earlier this yea. De Villiers’ signing, nonetheless, is one of the biggest by the league in its history. In the past, they had signed the likes of Chris Gayle and McCullum but there were not too many big names playing in the league.
De Villiers is one of the most experienced batsmen in the world right now. He announced his retirement from international cricket after playing a total of 420 games. In his stellar career for the Proteas that spanned over a decade, De Villiers scored more than 20,000 runs and 47 centuries. Despite the retirement, de Villiers has shown little signs of slowing down.
He batted in his usual manner in this year’s IPL while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore. The right-handed batsman slammed 442 runs at an average of 44.2 and a strike rate of 154 before joining Middlesex for the T20 Blast in England. He finished the tournament as the second-highest run-scorer for his team, blasting 348 runs at an average of 69.6 and a strike rate of 182.19.
AB de Villiers excited
Speaking ahead of his new journey, the legendary batsman said he is excited to play in the Big Bash League. He said that while he is very selective when it comes to choosing where to play, he could not turn down the offer from the Brisbane-based outfit. He also said that he has been following the tournament for some time now.
“You go through moments after retirement when you’re really keen to play, then you just want to be at home,” AB de Villiers was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “It’s really difficult to balance that out. Time spent at home and time away, so I’m very selective of where I play at the moment, and the body is getting a bit older so I can’t play too much.
“I like to be at home over the Christmas and New year period, but I couldn’t say no to coming to Brisbane and joining in on the fun. It’s one of the best tournaments around and I’ve been following it for a while now. From what I’ve heard from other players who have played there, it’s just all positives. The standard of cricket is good, and they get big crowds,” he added.
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