Proteas

Big Bash clubs eager to fight for AB's signature

2018-05-31 10:26
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Cape Town - Several Big Bash League clubs have their eyes set on signing former Proteas batsman AB de Villiers.

De Villiers announced his shocking retirement last week and cited fatigue, stating that it was the "right time" to call time on his 14-year international cricket career.

De Villiers has plied his trade in various international T20 leagues, including the Indian Premier League for the Royal Challenges Bangalore and for the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League in 2016.

According to AAP, the Sydney Sixers wasted no time and spoke to De Villiers' manager last week.

"We hope we'll be in a pretty good position if he wants to come out. From a family point of view, we feel we offer a pretty attractive package in Sydney and he's previously stated his love for the SCG. We're very keen to have him, should he want to come out, but we also realise he said he's keen to play domestic cricket in South Africa," said Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins.

Brisbane Heat's general manager Andrew McShea told the Big Bash League's website: "It would remiss of us not to explore the possibility of AB being available for the Heat."

Heat hard-hitting batsman Chris Lynn tweeted: "Want to bat 3 for the @HeatBBL @ABdeVilliers17 .. I know a bloke."

The Hobart Hurricanes have previously tried to lure De Villiers to sign for their club, who has a strong connection with coach Gary Kirsten.

Hobart CEO Nick Cummins revealed that despite having two overseas players (Englishmen Tymal Mills and Jofra Archer) contracted, if one of two had to miss out of this season - an interested De Villiers' would be welcome.

Cummins said: "I did note he expressed interest in playing for the Titans this year too so maybe he is just going to play in South Africa, but I'm not sure."

The Melbourne Renegades have also expressed interest in the former Proteas batsman and noted that "if he was to be available he would be a significant asset".

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Stars CEO Clint Cooper said: "We would love to see De Villiers in the Big Bash League, and a player of his calibre would obviously be of interest to the Stars."

The Sydney Stars noted that they are looking for a high-profile international cricketer.

"Sydney Thunder is always looking to sign high-profile international players and AB de Villiers falls into that category. With both Shane Bond and Mike Hussey over in India for the IPL, it has allowed us to take a closer look at some of our options," said Thunder general manager Lee Germon.

Since appearing on the international stage in 2004, De Villiers scored 8 765 runs in 114 Tests with 22 centuries (average 50.66), 9 577 runs in 228 ODIs with 25 centuries and 1 672 runs in 78 T20Is with 10 half-centuries.

However, the Titans stated that they are still discussing the way forward with the South African for the upcoming season.

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