South African great AB de Villiers will make his debut in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League during the 2019-20 season after signing with Brisbane Heat, the team announced on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old prolific batsman will join the Heat for the second half of the eight-team competition that runs from December to February.
Coach Darren Lehmann said he was “over the moon” to have the opportunity to work with de Villiers for the first time.
“World class players don’t just come along every day and to have a player of AB’s stature and skill in the BBL is a fantastic outcome for everyone, not just the Heat,” he said.
“He’s a 360-degree player, great skills, outstanding temperament and an insightful leader.”
De Villiers played 114 Tests, 228 one-dayers and 78 Twenty20s in a 14-year career for the Proteas before retiring from international cricket in 2018.
He starred for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in this year’s Indian Premier League, scoring 442 runs at an average of 44.20 with a rapid strike rate of 154.
He said the decision to join the Heat for the BBL from January, including the finals should they qualify, was an easy one to make.
“They play the kind of brand that I want to be associated with. It’s quite aggressive, they go after the attack, and I’m looking forward to going to the Gabba,” de Villiers said.
“It’s a beautiful cricket field. It’s a great wicket and games are always of a high quality.”