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AB De Villiers Confirms Participation in Pakistan Leg of PSL

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: January 14, 2019, 1:59 PM IST
AB De Villiers Confirms Participation in Pakistan Leg of PSL

Twitter/ Tshwane Spartans

In what is likely to be a big boost for cricket in Pakistan, former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has confirmed that he will play in the country in the upcoming Pakistan Super League.

De Villiers, who will be representing Lahore Qalandars, confirmed he will be playing in the Gadaffi Stadium on March 9 and 10.

"I am delighted to confirm that I will represent Lahore Qalandars in front of our home crowds on 9 and 10 March, during the HBL PSL 2019," said de Villiers.

"I look forward to revisiting the Gaddafi Stadium and aim to play my part in helping Lahore Qalandars achieve something they have been aspiring for since the inception of this tournament in 2016."

The batsman has played in Pakistan in 2007, when he played a Test and three ODIs at the same venue. He further added that he hopes international cricket returns to Pakistan soon.

"I am fully aware that cricket is like a second religion in Pakistan," he said. "I still remember the support and appreciation we received in 2007. Furthermore, I feel I have a role to play in helping international cricket return to Pakistan. These have been some of the motivating factors for me to return to Lahore.

"I sympathise with the people of Pakistan because they have been cricket-starved for no fault of theirs, but I am optimistic that the days are not too far when international cricket will return to Pakistan and the stadia will once again be packed with crowds.

"Due to prior family commitments, I will only be available till the last group stage game. I want to thank Lahore Qalandars for giving me an opportunity to represent them and I look forward to not only enjoying my time in the HBL PSL 2019 but also contributing in making it a stronger brand," he added.

After the terror attacks in 2009, international teams have been reluctant to tour Pakistan. Only Zimbabwe (2015) and Windies (2018) have played toured the country. In September 2017, a Faf du Plessis-led ICC World XI side which included other South Africans like Hashim Amla, David Miller, Morne Morkel, and Imran Tahir toured Lahore for a three-match T20I series. This was followed by Sri Lankan team's return to the city, almost eight years after the attack.

The final of PSL in 2017, followed by two eliminators and a final in 2018 have also been hosted in the country.

Matches played in Pakistan

The fourth edition of PSL kicks off in Dubai on February 14 and the tournament will move to Pakistan on March 7 and will see Lahore and Karachi host three and five matches, including the final.
First Published: January 14, 2019, 1:21 PM IST

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