South African cricket legend AB de Villiers has quit international cricket. All forms. But the batting maestro not at all retired.
The latest news of the former South African captain signing up with the Bangladesh Premier League establishes that de Villiers is rather more active on the professional circuit now.
The integrity of an icon who made cricket more entertaining and contributed to drawing more fans to the sports with his unmatchable extraordinary skills can never be doubted. However, his commitments for one after other professional leagues by various national cricket boards will certainly raise a question whether the gentleman of modern day cricket has made a choice to go for clubs over his country.
The South African star will also turn up for Tshwane Spartans for the first edition of the Mzansi Super League, South Africa’s official T20 tournament to kick-off next month. The wicketkeeper-batsman also has a proven track record in Indian Premier League (IPL) with teams like Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
De Villiers though won’t be the lone cricket icons to quit their international career and stay active on the professional league circuit. The “Universal Boss” Chris Gayle, his fellow Caribbean all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist are numerous examples to opt out of high pressure, extremely demanding international cricket and be available for the leagues.
De Villiers is set to mark his debut in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in the sixth edition with Rangpur Riders franchisee. The South African cricketer, who announced his retirement this year after IPL 11, has surprised everyone after signing with three professional t20 leagues across the globe, inaugural Mzansi Super League and Pakistan Super League being the other two.
The 34-year-old hard-hitting batsman is Rangpur’s second signing outside the player draft concluded yesterday (Sunday). Gayle and English batsman Alex Hales are among the other foreign marquee stars in the team for 2018-19 edition of national T20 cricket league in Bangladesh.
De Villiers, who recently denied reports of a comeback to the national side ahead of the World Cup next year, after announcing his retirement in May 2018, will be seen playing in major T20 leagues in the next few months. The Proteas star was named as one of the fourteen Platinum category players for the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2019.