AB de Villiers, the former batsman for South Africa, will play a total of two games for Lahore Qalandars during the upcoming Pakistan Super League on 9 and 10 March 2019. De Villiers stated that he has a role to play when it comes to bringing international cricket back to Pakistan and will be considered one of the most highly regarded cricketers to participate in the country since the Lahore terror attack took place in March 2009.
De Villiers Picked in Draft by Lahore Qalandars
De Villiers, who managed to retire from international cricket following the end of the 2018 IPL, was picked in the draft by Lahore Qalandars in November and was initially signed on to participate in a total of seven league matches during the UAE leg of the cricket tournament. However, he said last week that he would only be available for two league matches, against Multan Sultans and Islamabad United, before he made his return home. He will only be available during the group stages of the tournament due to family commitments.
“I am thrilled to announce that I will represent Qalandars on 9 and 10 March 2019, during the 2019 HBL PSL, de Villiers stated in a press release. “I’m looking forward to revisiting the extraordinary stadium in Gaddafi and will aim to play my part in assisting Qalandars to achieve something that they have been wanting since the tournament started in 2016.
“I’m well aware that cricket in Pakistan is like a second religion and still remember the appreciation and support we received back in 2007. In addition, I feel that I have a huge role to play to help international cricket make a return to Pakistan. This is only a few of the motivating aspects I have to return to Lahore.
“I obviously sympathise with Pakistan and its people due to the fact that the country has been starved of cricket. However, I’m quite optimistic that international cricket will make its return to the country where the stadiums will once again be packed with fans from around the world.”
High Profile South African Players
De Villiers is regarded as one of the most highly profiled players from South Africa to participate in Pakistan, after David Miller, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Hashim Amla, and Faf de Plessis toured the country with the renowned World XI side for a total of 3 T20 internationals during the 2017 Independence Cup in late September. Other cricket players from South Africa, including JP Duminy, Colin Ingram, and Rilee Rossouw played games in Pakistan during the PSL.
The 2017 Independence Cup was the second international cricket tournament that occurred in Pakistan following Zimbabwe’s tour during 2015. Zimbabwe was the first country to tour Pakistan following the attack in 2009 when the Sri Lankan bus managed to suspend international cricket from the country. After the Independence Cup, a T20 international took place against Sri Lanka as well as three T20 internationals when the West Indies visited the country.