South African great AB de Villiers will make his debut in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) during the 2019-20 season after signing with Brisbane Heat, the team announced on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old prolific batsman will join the Heat for the second half of the eight-team T20 competition that runs from December to February.
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) September 30, 2019
De Villiers, who played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is in South Africa jersey, said he is pleased to join the BBL and made it clear his intentions with the Heat.
“The Heat have always stood out to me,” he told brisbaneheat.com.au.
“Brisbane is a lovely city – I’ve been there a few times before traveling with the South African team. I love the place; I love the weather. It’s similar to Pretoria where I’m from.
“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.
“I’ve spoken to Chris (Lynn) a few times after games in the IPL. I always enjoy the way he plays the game, he really goes after the bowling, he attacks the game, and he seems like a really good teammate.
“He gives his best shot for the boys. I’m looking forward to joining forces with him.”
Meanwhile, Heat’s head coach Darren Lehmann is “over the moon” to have the opportunity to work with de Villiers for the first time.
“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 said.
“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.”