Cape Town - For the first time in the history of South African cricket, a suite at a major ground will be named after a player who is still representing the national team.
The recipient of this unprecedented honour is the South African One-Day International (ODI) captain, AB de Villiers, at 30 already a fast-evolving global icon.
“The Northerns Cricket union is proud to name a suite at SuperSport Park in Centurion after AB de Villiers,” said Jacques Faul, chief executive of The Unlimited Titans.
“He is a gifted player whose contributions on and off the field from junior Northerns schools cricket to senior representative phases for the Titans and South Africa have endeared him to thousands of cricket fans at SuperSport Park, other domestic grounds and internationally,” added Faul.
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness bestowed upon them. AB is the embodiment of greatness in all three formats of the game,” said Faul.
John Wright, president of Northerns Cricket Union Executive Committee, offered his congratulations to De Villiers. He promised that more players and former players will also be honoured in the same way as De Villiers in future.
“Some of the soon-to-be-nominated former players have excelled against all odds, against historical disadvantages. Yet, they have contributed to the Titans’ production line of players who have propelled the franchise to one of the top positions of the domestic game.
“The Titans have become an impressive nursery of SA stars thanks to their feats.
“Their role in the transformation of the game as well as the Titans’ successful pursuit of domestic glory will be celebrated and acknowledged in suitable style,” Wright added.
De Villiers’s breath-taking ability and his jaw-dropping innovative qualities have seen him smash 40 international centuries while representing South Africa in 98 Tests and 179 ODIs. He has an enviable record, averaging 52.16 in ODIs and 52.09 in white uniform.
The South African skipper made global headlines in the second ODI against the West Indies in Johannesburg by scoring the fastest century yet in the history of ODI-cricket (off only 31 balls).
It had journalists, fans and former players in search of superlatives to describe his 149 off 44 balls, with nine fours and sixteen sixes.
He also set up 439 for two, the biggest total yet achieved by South Africa in ODIs.
“AB is an inspirational captain who leads from the front. But his humility, his graciousness and selflessness and his humanity have made him one of South Africa’s most beloved players. He is an ambassador and trail-blazer for the game of cricket and is leaving a proud legacy,” said Faul.
“The gesture of naming a suite after him, is well-deserved and an apt salute to a living legend.”