Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Brisbane Heat recently roped in South African batting legend AB de Villiers for the second half of the upcoming tournament. The former captain will make his debut in the Big Bash and will replace another legend of the game Brendon McCullum. McCullum had announced his retirement from competitive cricket earlier this year.
AB de Villiers, however, had shown interest in participating in the previous Big Bash season but backed out of signing a contract with any franchise. He is considered to be one of the greatest batsmen of the shorter formats and he will be available for the second half of the eight-team competition including the finals should the Heat make it to the knockout stages. The arrival of AB de Villiers delighted Brisbane coach Darren Lehmann, who had deemed it as a rare opportunity to work with a player of such supreme calibre. Recently, cricket.com.au posted a video in which players from the Big Bash League were seen expressing their excitement to have the South African great player in the league.
Aussie players Usman Khawaja and Ashton Agar went on to term him the 'best white-ball cricketer in the world' and added that he was only getting better with age. Australia wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade termed him as the best batsman he had ever watched from behind the stumps. Wade recalled de Villiers' famous innings of 169 in a Test match against Australia in Perth in 2012, which helped South Africa become one of those rare sides to win back-to-back Test series 'Down Under'.
Bowlers Gurinder Sandhu and Jason Behrendorff were in awe with his ability to clear any boundary in the world. The likes of Kane Richardson and Jhye Richardson said it was gonna be a nightmare for them to bowl to the right-hander. James Faulkner mentioned how he had not slept for three days thinking about bowling to AB de Villiers in the BBL.
Youngsters Matt Renshaw, Marnus Lambuschagne and Max Bryant, who will also be playing for Brisbane Heat, expressed how stoked they were to share the dressing room with the legend who they had idolized growing up. Several other players like Nathan Coulter Nile, Dan Christian, Mitchell Marsh also expressed their views about the arrival of AB de Villiers. De Villiers represented the Proteas in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is in an illustrious career that spanned 14 years before bidding farewell to international cricket in 2018.