AB de Villiers had surprised everyone with his abrupt retirement from international cricket back in 2018. He was just 34 at the time of retirement and was in brilliant form. He confessed that he was tired and wanted to focus on league cricket from thereon.
Now that AB de Villiers was available for all the leagues, he became a hot cake for all the franchises. Every league across the world wanted his services given his enormous talent and an equally big fan base. So, let’s see how he has performed in various leagues post his retirement.
1. Royal Challengers Bangalore – Indian Premier League
After a 5-month break from cricket, AB de Villiers played the opener of the IPL 2021 and set the stage on fire immediately. He scored 48 off just 27 balls for RCB against MI and made a tricky chase very easy. And he has been doing that for RCB from the very time he joined them.
AB de Villiers hits a four (Royal Challengers Bangalore | Instagram)
Post his last international match for South Africa, de Villiers has played 3 complete seasons of IPL. In each of the seasons, he has managed to score over 400 runs putting up highly consistent performances. Over the years, he has played multiple match-winning knocks for RCB with his batting mainly in the death-overs.
2. Tshwane Spartans – Mzansi Super League
After his retirement, AB de Villiers played 2 seasons of MSLT20. He has mainly been a top-order batsman for the Spartans mostly batting in the 3rd of 4th position. He was also the captain of the Spartans for the 2018 season, but gave his captaincy to Heinrich Klaasen in the middle of the season.Embed from Getty Images
Despite his good performance in both the seasons, Spartans haven’t been able to win the trophy.
3. Rangpur Riders – Bangladesh Premier League
AB de Villiers had shown interest in playing the 2019 season of BPL and as expected, many teams showed interest in signing him. Ultimately, Rangpur Riders managed to sign him. He was supposed to be available for only 9 matches in the tournament, but he later cut it short playing only 6 games. He played in the 4th position for the Riders and mainly functioned as a batsman to play in the middle-overs.
Although he hit a century off 50 balls in a match, his performances in the other games were just average.
4. Lahore Qalandars – Pakistan Super League
AB de Villiers had initially signed a two-year contract with Lahore Qalandars to play in the PSL. In 2019, he played 7 matches for them and was unavailable for rest of the season. He didn’t do much in these 7 games except for hitting a sole half-century. He also captained the team for 2 games. de Villiers pulled out of the 2020 season of IPL citing workload concerns.
5. Middlesex – T20 Blast
AB de Villiers signed up with Middlesex for the 2019 season of the Vitality T20 Blast. Though not available for the initial part of the tournament, de Villiers joined the tail end of the tournament. In this too, he was at his consistent best scoring over 300 runs in just 8 matches. Unfortunately, Middlesex lost in the Quarter Finals of the tournament and was eliminated then.
AB de Villiers hits a six (Middlesex Cricket Club | Twitter)
In this season, de Villiers’ knock of 88* off just 35 balls against Somerset in which he hit 9 sixes was highly appreciated.
6. Brisbane Heat – Big Bash League
AB de Villiers was signed up by the Brisbane Heat in the middle of the 2019 season of the Big Bash League. His performances were just average in the 6 games he played, before the tournament got postponed midway due to COVID-19 concerns. Once the tournament restarted in the latter half of 2020, de Villiers was unavailable due to the birth of his child.
Overall, de Villiers had a great time in most of the leagues he played in. And surprisingly, all these stats are after his retirement from international cricket. That leaves us with the thought, “What could he have done if he were still playing for South Africa!!”
Anyways, let’s hope he entertains us more in the current season of IPL. After the IPL 2021, he is set to play in the Everest Premier League to be held in Nepal.
Featured Image: Royal Challengers Bangalore | Twitter
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