Proteas batting maverick AB de Villiers, who stunned the cricketing fraternity by announcing a shock retirement from international cricket in May this year, is all set to enthrall the fans in the upcoming Twenty20 tournament - Mzansi Super League (MSL). The 34-year-old will represent Tshwane Spartans in the inaugural edition of MSL, starting on November 16.
Spartans will take on Cape Town Blitz in the tournament opener. Even though the much-awaited contest is one week away, De Villiers has issued a warning for the opposition camp.
Some of the Proteas players won’t be available for the first match as they will be featuring in the limited-overs series against Australia. However, De Villiers will have the support of Lungi Ngidi, Robbie Frylinck, Theunis de Bruyn and international marquee player Eoin Morgan for the rest of the event.
“I have full faith in our ability to cross the line in that opener and there cannot be a better place to play cricket. Cape Town is a great set-up – apart from SuperSport Park of course – with the North v South derby in the tournament. I think it will be a great game and I am looking forward to it,” De Villiers said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The quality of cricket in the Mzansi Super League is going to be good. It’s very exciting. I am very happy to finally be part of the tournament that I believe will help South African cricket development and give youngsters incredible exposure to play with some of the world superstars,” he added.
Superstar batsman @ABdeVilliers17 believes that his @SpartansMSLT20 might just have enough to be top contenders for the #MSLT20 set to start next Friday, 16 November.— Mzansi Super League (@MSL_T20) November 7, 2018
All focus will be on the return of the 33-year-old nicknamed “Mr 360” for his breath-taking shot selection. pic.twitter.com/QfqTUfO5rI
Apart from the Spartans, Durban Heat are the other strong contenders for the title, with a well-balanced squad captained by Hashim Amla. De Villiers acknowledged that the Heat boasts a very good squad but he is confident of Spartans’ great showing throughout the tournament.
“I know the Player Draft system is tricky, but I think we have a great squad. I believe we really have talented team. More importantly, we have a great spirit, a bunch of humble guys that are prepared to have work hard and have fun on the cricket field – and hopefully off it too,” he said.
“I think the Heat look like a good side as well, with a team similar to ours. It is T20 cricket and anything can happen from all the teams, but I do believe that we have something special that will help us cross the line in the tournament,” De Villiers concluded.
(With IOL inputs)