Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers is set to participate in Everest Premier League (EPL) – Nepal’s T20 tournament. The 2020 edition of the T20 competition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, this year’s EPL is ready to get underway from September 25 to October 9.
After taking retirement from the international arena, De Villiers has only participated in T20 leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash League (BBL), and a few other domestic competitions in South Africa.
EPL Managing Director Aamir Akhtar confirmed that ‘Mr 360’ has agreed to play in Nepal’s T20 competition this year and was happy to share the news. Akhtar revealed that he tried to get ABD last year as well, but he wasn’t available.
“We are trying our best to bring top international cricketers for EPL to put Nepal in the frame of global cricket. We had tried to bring AB de Villiers the previous season as well, but he couldn’t be available,” said Akhtar as quoted by Cricketing Nepal.
“This edition, he has agreed to be here. If nothing comes in between, he will be playing at the TU grounds for sure,” he added.
It is yet to be confirmed as to which team De Villiers will play for. Not to mention, there shall be strong competition to get the star batsman as every franchise will have a go at him.
“I think every franchise will run behind a player like AB de Villiers. We know other teams are also trying to get him, like us. We are hoping to rope him into our franchise,” said Kishor Maharjan, the owner of Lalitpur Patriots – one of the franchises in EPL.
Last year, Pokhra Rhinos had signed Chris Gayle in the EPL before the coronavirus forced the postponement. It would be interesting to see if the ‘Universe Boss’ will be available to play this time around. Apart from Gayle, some other well-known players like Paul Stirling, Rohan Mustafa, Kevin O’Brien, Roelof van der Merwe and Richard Levi may also feature in EPL.
Other than Patriots and Rhinos, Bhairahawa Gladiators, Chitwan Tigers, Biratnagar Warriors, and Kathmandu Kings XI are the tournament’s remaining four franchises.