Brisbane Heat, a Big Bash League (BBL) franchise, managed to sign up AB de Villiers, one of the world’s leading T20 batsmen, for the forthcoming BBL 2019. His first stint with the Heat will also be the South African batsman’s first appearance in BBL, nine years since it started.
Being viewed as a path-breaking decision for the competition, this move will bolster the Queensland-based franchise’s chances of improving its performance after it failed to make it to the BBL 2018 play-offs. He is likely to replace Brendon McCullum, the Kiwi T20 legend.
Cricbuzz quoted de Villiers as saying that although he wanted to be at home during the Christmas and New year period, he said he could not decline Brisbane’s offer and did not want to miss out on the fun.
He added that BBL was one of the best tournaments around, and he had been following it for quite some time now. The Proteas dasher said he had heard good things from other cricketers who played there. According to de Villiers, he had heard about the good standard of cricket in that tournament, which draws large crowds.
Following his productive stint in early 2019 in the Vitality Blast where he represented Middlesex and also having figured in Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL), the South African blaster will arrive in Australia for the first time in his career.
Stating his excitement at joining the Heat, which is renowned for its highly aggressive brand of cricket, de Villiers also lauded coach Darren Lehmann’s efforts for taking the initiative to approach and convincing him to sign up with the Brisbane franchisee.
Saying that the Gabba was a beautiful cricket ground, he said the Heat play an aggressive brand of cricket that he wants to play. AB added that he was in close contact over email with Darren and that was one of the major reasons he was going to play in the BBL.
He concluded by praising Darren for the way he played his game and for his handling of the Aussie team and was confident that he could learn a bit about his batting from him.
Brisbane Heat is scheduled to play its first match of the 2019 edition of BBL with Sydney Thunder on December 17th at the GABBA.