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Global T20 Leagues

AB de Villiers joins Brisbane Heat for maiden Big Bash stint

AB de Villiers
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

AB de Villiers is set to add Big Bash to his long list of T20 stints, bagging a maiden contract in Australia’s premier domestic T20 tournament with Brisbane Heat, ahead of the 2019/20 season.

De Villiers, who retired from international cricket last year, will join the Heat squad for the latter half of the tournament, and is expected to make his BBL debut in January 2020.

“It’s one of the best tournaments around and I’ve been following it for a while now,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “I must also say the Brisbane Heat have always stood out to me. They play the kind of cricket that I want to play – it’s quite aggressive and they go after the attack.”

His vast batting repertoire, backed by an envious track record, makes de Villiers one of the most sought-after T20 players, even after him stepping away from the international level. The 35-year-old, who has been picking and choosing his T20 tournaments, admitted to have been swept by the ‘fun’ around the Big Bash brand.

“You go through moments after retirement when you’re really keen to play, then you just want to be at home,” de Villiers continued. “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.

De Villiers’ latest T20 stint, for Middlesex, further reinforced his T20 credentials; he slammed three back-to-back fifties last month, averaging 69.60, and tonking the ball at a whopping strike-rate of 182.19.

He will replace the retired Brendon McCullum at Heat, fitting into a Heat line-up that doesn’t have a dearth of batting firepower. The charge is led by Chris Lynn, who is set to be appointed the new captain.

“He’s one hell of a player,” de Villiers said, speaking about Lynn. “You have a sleepless night or two before you play against him. He’s a destructive batter who can take the game away from you in a couple of overs, so it’s great to have him on our team.”

“I’m looking forward to spending some time in the middle with him – it will be a lot of fun. We’ve got the ability to win some games for the team and hopefully it pays off.”

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