AB de Villiers: SA20 comes at a really good time for SA cricket

AB de Villiers.AB de Villiers.

Former Proteas captain AB de Villiers has expressed confidence in the timing of the start of the SA20 – Cricket South Africa’s new domestic tournament.

De Villiers participated in several domestic T20 competitions before retiring in 2021. He played in the Indian Premier League, Pakistan Super League, Australia’s Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League and others.

He also played for the Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League, which has since been abandoned and replaced by the SA20.

“I think the SA20 comes at a really good time for South African cricket. We have seen the amazing things that these leagues have done to cricket in particular nations,” said de Villiers.

“To give our youngsters this base and the foundation to get exposure at the highest level against the best players in the world is what it’s all about.”

The 2023 SA20 will start on 10 January. De Villiers’ comments come in a week when the Proteas have slipped to a second heavy defeat during the Test series against Australia.

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AB de Villiers on Graeme Smith

Former Proteas captain and Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith is the commissioner for the SA20. The inaugural edition will include six teams – MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals, Sunrisers Eastern Cape, Durban’s Super Giants, Joburg Super Kings and Pretoria Capitals.

“Graeme and I have come a long way together, and to have him right at the top of SA cricket right now, making a lot of good calls, and changing things, is good,” added de Villiers.

“The SA20 – I don’t think it would have been possible if it weren’t for him and all his connections and experience. I think we all owe Graeme a real thank you for bringing this big tournament to SA.”

‘Success of SA20 depends on strong Proteas team’

Former Proteas batsman Alviro Petersen, meanwhile, is hopeful the SA20 will eventually benefit the Proteas in Test, ODI and T20I cricket.

“The reality is that the success of the SA20 depends on a strong Proteas team to attract sponsors, viewership, etc,” Petersen wrote on Twitter.

“If the Proteas batting can get to Test standard, then the team will be competitive again – this requires leadership, experience and straight talk.”

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