SOUTH African great AB de Villiers will join the Brisbane Heat this summer!
The team has confirmed the 35-year-old has agreed to play the second half of the BBL09 season, with finals included in his contract.
Heat coach Darren Lehmann said he was over the moon to have the chance to work with de Villiers for the first time.
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“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,’’ he 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.”
De Villiers brings enormous experience with his impeccable batting credentials, playing 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 295 T20 games in his career at the time of signing.
He said the decision to join the Heat for the BBL was straight-forward.
“The Heat have always stood out to me,’’ he told brisbaneheat.com.au.
“Brisbane is a lovely city – I’ve been there a few times before traveling with the South African team. I love the place, I love the weather. It’s similar to Pretoria where I’m from.”
“They play the kind of cricket that I want to be associated with. It’s quite aggressive. They go after the attack. And the Gabba, it’s a beautiful cricket field. It’s a great wicket and games are always of a high quality.”
De Villers revealed he had spoken with Brendon McCullum about the Heat and expressed his delight at playing alongside Chris Lynn.
“I’ve spoken to Chris a few times after games in the IPL. 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 teammate.
“He gives his best shot for the boys. I’m looking forward to joining forces with him,” de Villiers said.
Lehmann said Heat captain Chris Lynn had also spoke glowingly of de Villiers as an opponent during the recent IPL.
“Lynny noted that when he was playing for the Knight Riders against AB in the RCB team that he was outstanding in how he worked with his teammates – very selfless and eager to play for the team.”
“I’m certain our young players will learn some important insights into how to play as individuals but also achieve success as a squad,’’ he said.
“He’s played almost 300 T20 games and excelled all over the world so we know he has the skills and the mental toughness to come into our club and make a positive impact.’’
The Heat has announced the following contracted players for the season:
AB de Villiers (international)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (international)
Zahir Khan (International)
Brisbane Heat BBL Games:
Tuesday 17 Dec: Brisbane Heat v Sydney Thunder, Gabba – 6.10pm
Friday 20 Dec: Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars, Metricon Stadium – 6.10pm
Sunday 22 Dec: Sydney Sixers v Brisbane Heat, SCG – 6.10pm
Wed 1 Jan: Brisbane Heat v Perth Scorchers, Metricon Stadium – 6.10pm
Friday 3 Jan: Hobart Hurricanes v Brisbane Heat, Blundstone Arena – 6.10pm
Monday 6 Jan: Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat, Spotless Stadium – 6.10pm
Thursday 9 Jan: Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes, Gabba – 6.10pm
Saturday 11 Jan: Perth Scorchers v Brisbane Heat, Optus – 8.10pm
Tuesday 14 Jan: Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers, Gabba – 2.40pm
Friday 17 Jan: Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat, Adelaide Oval – 2.40pm
Sunday 19 Jan: Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades, Gabba – 6.10pm
Thursday 23 Jan: Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers, Gabba – 6.10pm
Saturday 25 Jan: Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat, MCG – 5.40pm
Mon 27 Jan: Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat, Marvel Stadium – 1.45pm