Former South Africa international AB de Villiers has decided not to play for Brisbane Heat in the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League (BBL).
De Villiers’ signing was announced to much fanfare last season as he played six matches for the Heat, scoring 146 runs at an average of 24.33. AB is currently enjoying an impressive IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the UAE and the Heat hope he can return to their set up in the future.
“While things initially looked fine for him to come back, there have been a few factors emerge which have changed everyone’s plans,” Heat coach Darren Lehmann told EspnCricinfo.
“The main one, aside from the challenges represented by Covid-19 and international travel, is that AB and his wife Danielle are expecting their third child very soon.
“Naturally we’re very pleased for them and know that the next few months will be a very special time for all. We’ll stay in contact and see what develops. He has been in excellent touch in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore, so he obviously remains a player we’d like to keep working with when the circumstances allow,” he added.
If De Villiers had joined the BBL he would have been required to undergo a mandatory 14 days quarantine period in a hotel room before being able to link up with the Heat squad.
“It’s exciting for Danielle and me with the arrival of our new baby very soon,” he said. “So with a young, growing family, and the uncertainty around travel and conditions due to Covid-19, we reluctantly decided it wasn’t going to be this season.
“The Heat were great to us last summer and I am very open to returning to the club in the future. The team didn’t get the results we were hoping for and I consider there is some unfinished business to deal with,” Lehmann added further.
Meanwhile, Heat will be pleased with the return of unorthodox finger-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman to their squad for BBL|10. They will also have the services of England’s talented young batsman, Tom Banton, once again.
BBL teams are now allowed to field three overseas players in their playing XIs. The dates and venues for the T20 extravaganza are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.