Former South African skipper, AB de Villiers has signed a deal with Brisbane Heat for the upcoming season of the Big Bash League. This will mark Villiers’s debut in Australia’s premier Twenty20 competition. He said that the aggressive mindset of the franchise also suits his style of play.
After signing the contract, ABD said, “Very pleased to have signed for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash. Great team, great city. They play the kind of cricket that I want to be associated with. It’s quite aggressive. They go after the attack. And the Gabba, it’s a beautiful cricket field. It’s a great wicket and games are always of high quality.”
Brisbane Heat head coach Darren Lehmann said he was excited to have a world-class player like de Villiers in the team. The reports also suggested that a heartfelt email from Lehmann helped the Brisbane Heat land the signature of ABD, who Chris Lynn has labeled the “biggest signing in the history of the BBL”.
Lehmann said, “World-class players don’t just come along every day and to have a player of AB’s stature and skill in the BBL is a fantastic outcome for everyone, not just the Heat. He’s a 360-degree player, great skills, outstanding temperament, and an insightful leader. We’re excited to bring him into the group this summer and allow him to showcase his skills for the fans.”
In his international career, De Villiers played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is for South Africa before calling it a day in 2018. He has often been termed as ‘Mr 360’ because of his ability to improvise and play shots in every direction, he uses his skills to deadly effect in the shortest format of the game. De Villiers has played 295 T20 matches in his career, having notched 8,186 runs with a strike rate of almost 150.
In the Indian Premier League last season, De Villiers scored 442 runs at an average of 44.20 and a strike rate of 154 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He also starred for Middlesex in the recent Vitality Blast T20 competition, scoring four half-centuries in eight innings. He is currently the highest run-scorer in T20s in 2019, with 1,255 runs under his belt.