South Africa legend AB de Villiers has confirmed that he is in talks with the team management about a potential return to international cricket ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
New South Africa coach Mark Boucher first touted the possibility of getting de Villiers on board for the tournament a few days after taking over his role in December. Captain Faf du Plessis later confirmed that the management was in talks with the global superstar.
Now, after his first Big Bash League game with Brisbane Heat, de Villiers himself has confirmed that he is in talks about a potential return, while maintaining that a lot of variables will need to fall in place, not least him maintaining his own form.
"People want AB de Villiers to play and I am no different" – Faf du Plessis.https://t.co/BbGYwncus5— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) December 19, 2019
"There's a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality, I would love to," de Villers said after making a fine 32-ball 40 in Brisbane's win over Adelaide Strikers. "I've been talking to Bouch, Graeme Smith and Faf back home. We are all keen to make it happen, it's a long way away still and plenty can happen - there's the IPL coming, I've still got to be in form at that time. I'm thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping everything will work out.
"It's not a guarantee, I don't want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I'm just going to try and keep a low profile, play the best possible cricket I can and we'll see what happens towards the end of the year."
De Villiers last wore a South Africa shirt in March 2018, his team's convincing Test series victory against Australia being his last assignment before he announced his decision to hang up his boots from all formats. But maintaining his form in the absence of international cricket has seemingly been no problem for de Villiers, as he keeps finishing as among the top run-scorers in various T20 leagues.
Most recently, in the Mzansi Super League, he was third on the batting list, with 325 runs from nine matches at 46.42, striking at 152.48. In the T20 Blast, he had a similarly jaw-dropping run for Middlesex, smashing 348 runs from eight matches at 69.60 and a strike rate of over 183. In the 2019 IPL, he scored 442 runs at 44.20 and a strike rate of 154.
His start in the Big Bash League has shown that de Villiers is very much in form, and he will hope to continue that going into the 2020 IPL.