Having AB de Villiers playing for a team generally lifts the mood in the entire camp.
He is someone who also brings a certain sense of an aura and charisma to any tournament he is part of.
When you look at the number of global T20 tournaments ABD is part of, you can sense the two factors he brings with himself.
The dashing South African batsman has become the talk of the town after he added to speculations by admitting he could come out from his international retirement.
The legendary cricketer has hinted at eyeing a return at the ICC World T20 in Australia this year, as the platform to make a comeback and showcasing his attributes.
Since announcing his retirement from international cricket in the year 2018, the right-handed batman has featured in global T20 leagues to be associated with the sport.
Notably, ABD has done well in most of these leagues. At the moment, he is plying his trade in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia for Brisbane Heat.
The champion cricketer made his BBL debut this week and smashed a 32-ball 40 to help his side win against Adelaide Strikers.
Prior to this tournament, he was also seen in the Mzansi Super League back in South Africa.
As he touched down Brisbane, the player got a rapturous welcome and there was a press conference as well attended by many.
This is the kind of attention ABD brings wherever he goes.
Post the BBL match, ABD reckoned he’d “love to” come out of retirement for the showpiece event, and that he’s been in touch with the new support staff and the captain about such a possibility. Although, the 35-year-old also admitted that it is long way through at the moment and he wants to take things at a time.
“I would love to. I’ve been talking to ‘Bouch’ (new South Africa coach Mark Boucher), (new director of cricket) Graeme Smith and (captain) Faf (du Plessis) back home, we’re all keen to make it happen. There’s a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au.
In this article, we look at what it will mean for South Africa if the decision churns out.
South Africa require AB de Villiers to boost their batting
However, if AB de Villiers does make it back for the Proteas, it will be a big moment for South African cricket.
The Faf du Plessis-led side has missed him dearly across formats. Most notably, it was the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, where ABD was dearly missed.
SA crumbled in the tourney and they bowed out earlier than expected. Since ABD’s retirement from international cricket, the South Africa cricket team hasn’t quite managed to replace ABD in that middle order.
The character in the side has been missed. It was something de Villiers brought with himself. The consistency and the ability to pull off matches are also crucial aspects which the Proteas missed dearly.
Now with the ICC World T20 next in October, SA will fancy their chances if ABD makes a return. He is a proven customer and has been a champion over the years.
At 35, he still has all the powerful attributes to bolster the ranks in the South African unit.
And his addition can lift up any side. ABD also brings an aura that not only gives cushion to a side but also the entire tournament gets a lift. He is that sort of a rare personality.
Faf du Plessis keen on having AB de Villiers back for T2o World Cup
South African skipper Faf has always been keen on having ABD in the side. Reports had earlier claimed that he wanted the player during the 2019 World Cup as well.
However, things did not go as per plans. Now with ABD’s statement and a new set of characters in the coaching staff, Faf said he is very keen to have ABD back in the side for a crucial event like the World T20.
“We spoke about it, and I was very keen to have him back. That was even before the new coaching staff was on board.
The conversation had progressed as far as the details of “what does the next year look like in terms of T20 cricket – how many games; where, when, what? And then trying to unfold that in a way that we can get him back. He’s keen to come do that.”
When will ABD return is a question that has generated a lot of interest. It is yet to be decided, but he would have to appear in at least some of the 11 T20s South Africa will play against England and Australia in February and against West Indies in August.
That would make sense and also showcase what he could reinstate in that middle order of SA.
AB de Villiers has done well across T20 leagues post international retirement
It isn’t just a wishful thinking from ABD. As mentioned above, the cricketer has kept himself sharp to meet the demands of T20 cricket by playing across leagues.
Since his retirement, the player has done well in leagues across the top nations.
In the Mzansi Super League 2019-20, he was the third-highest run-scorer in the tournament and got 325 runs in nine games.
In the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2018 and 2019, AB de Villiers amassed scores of 480 and 442 for RCB to showcase his credentials with the bat. One will hope to see him produce substance in his maiden season in BBL as well.
Also, what it could do is it can help ABD have a shot one last time in international cricket.
The continuity by playing in T20 leagues around the world has helped him stay in touch with the format.
He has been scoring immensely and his addition will boost the Proteas camp.
SA need the power and there’s nobody better than the versatile ABD. He can win matches in his own.
This is too tempting of an union both fans and Cricket South Africa will like.