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AB de Villiers signs for Brisbane Heat


Brisbane Heat have managed to pull off one of the best signings in this history of the Big Bash League, as they've snapped up AB de Villiers for the second half of the upcoming season. He will replace another stalwart of the T20 format - Brendon McCullum - who retired from T20 leagues this year.
De Villiers, who had toyed with the idea of signing for a BBL franchise earlier in the year and then backed off, admitted that the lure of playing for Brisbane at the Gabba was too good to pass up.
"You go through moments after retirement when you're really keen to play, then you just want to be at home. It's really difficult to balance that out. Time spent at home and time away, so I'm very selective of where I play at the moment, and the body is getting a bit older so I can't play too much," de Villiers said.
"I like to be at home over the Christmas and New year period, but I couldn't say no to coming to Brisbane and joining in on the fun. It's one of the best tournaments around and I've been following it for a while now. From what I've heard from other players who have played there, it's just all positives. The standard of cricket is good, and they get big crowds.
De Villiers also had words of praise for the side that eventually won the race to his signature, talking up the ground and the style of play that the Heat - champions in the second season - have always employed.
I must also say the Brisbane Heat have always stood out to me. They play the kind of cricket that I want to play - it's quite aggressive and they go after the attack. And the Gabba is a beautiful cricket ground. It's got a great wicket and games are always of a high quality," de Villiers said.
De Villiers also revealed the role of Heat's head coach Darren Lehmann in his decision to eventually put pen on paper.
"I was in close contact with Darren over email and that was a big part of the reason why I am coming over (to the BBL)," de Villiers said. "He certainly pushed me over the edge. He's a great guy and I am sure we will get to know each other well over the tournament.
"I've always had a lot of respect for the way he played his game and the way he handled everything when he was with the Aussie team, and I am sure I can learn a bit from him with my batting," de Villiers said.
De Villiers will head to the Gabba with one of the finest T20 CVs in world cricket, striking the ball at nearly 150 across all T20s he's played around the world. He also has four T20 hundreds to go with that sort of devastation, and came away from this year's Indian Premier League with another stellar season - with 442 runs in 13 matches at an average of 44.20 and a strike-rate of 154.

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