South African legend AB de Villiers keen to play cricket in Pakistan, feels it is 'right time to go there'

AB De Villiers will become arguably the most high-profile overseas cricketer to play in Pakistan for a decade should he, as planned, feature in two fixtures in the upcoming PSL.

Agence France-Presse, Jan 17, 2019 10:46:11 IST

London: South Africa's AB de Villiers hopes his involvement in this year's Pakistan Super League will encourage the world's best players to return to the country.

Pakistan have had to play most of their 'home' games in the United Arab Emirates since a 2009 attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore, although the Windies did tour Pakistan in April last year.

South African legend AB de Villiers keen to play cricket in Pakistan, feels it is right time to go there

File image of AB de Villiers. AFP

But former Proteas captain De Villiers will become arguably the most high-profile overseas cricketer to play in Pakistan for a decade should he, as planned, feature in two fixtures in the PSL, a domestic Twenty20 tournament, in Lahore on 9 and 10 March.

"I felt that I had this opportunity to maybe make an impact to help international cricket return to Pakistan," he told the BBC World Service.

"I was reluctant to go a few years back, when we were all a bit worried, but I feel the time is right to go back there."

"I'm hoping to go there and have some fun and show the whole world that Pakistan is safe to travel to again."

Meanwhile the 34-year-old added he "would love to play" in English cricket's new Hundred tournament when it launches in 2020.

Matches will be restricted to 100 balls per innings – even fewer than in Twenty20 – in a bid to speed up the game.

India captain Virat Kohli has queried the need for a new format in addition to first-class, one-day and Twenty20 cricket.

But De Villiers, who unlike Kohli is now a 'free agent' after retiring from international duty in May, said: "I can't see anything wrong with trying something different."

"I'm not set in my schedule at the moment but I would love to play in the UK.

"I'm sure with the tradition and the culture of cricket over there, it would be very well supported. I would love to be a part of it."

De Villiers, however, all but ruled himself out of playing in England during this year's World Cup, which starts in May.

South Africa have never won the World Cup, but De Villiers – whose 31-ball century against the West Indies at Johannesburg in 2015 remains the fastest one-day international hundred – said: "I feel I've made the right decision to retire.

"If they (South Africa) do approach me – and I don't think that will happen – we'll have a conversation and I'm pretty sure that I will be staying over here and supporting the team."

Updated Date: Jan 17, 2019 10:46:11 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252