AB de Villiers will be playing in the BBL after all with Brisbane Heat securing one of the biggest signings in the recent history of the competition.
De Villiers had attracted huge interest from BBL clubs earlier this year but pulled back from committing to playing in Australia in May.
However, in a surprise announcement on Tuesday morning the Heat revealed they had signed de Villiers for the second half of the tournament, including the finals should the Heat get that far.
De Villiers said he had spoken to former Heat captain Brendon McCullum about joining and was keen to play alongside current captain Chris Lynn after getting top know him through the IPL.
“I’ve spoken to Chris a few times after games in the IPL,” de Villiers said. “I always enjoy the way he plays the game, he really goes after the bowling, he attacks the game, and he seems like a really good team-mate. He gives his best shot for the boys. I’m looking forward to joining forces with him. The Heat have always stood out to me.”
The new Heat coach Darren Lehmann, who took over from Daniel Vettori, was ecstatic to get a player of de Villiers’ quality.
“World-class players don’t just come along every day and to have a player of AB’s stature and skill in the BBL is a fantastic outcome for everyone, not just the Heat,” Lehmann said. “He’s a 360-degree player, great skills, outstanding temperament and an insightful leader. We’re excited to bring him into the group this summer and allow him to showcase his skills for the fans.”
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.