Cricket South Africa (CSA) is gearing up for its first-ever T20 league which will be called the SA20. CSA chief and former Proteas captain Graeme Smith is currently promoting the event in India as all the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have played key roles in bringing this league to reality.
Meanwhile, ex-South Africa captain and one of the former favourites in the IPL, AB de Villiers, recalled his time spent with the likes of Virat Kohli and Glen McGrath. He also added that playing in the IPL changed his life.
“My IPL journey started in 2008. My first IPL year in 2008 was a huge occasion for me and a lot of other players. The start of the IPL changed my life, and people are really passionate about cricket. Not only the home team but the members of the other team as well. It tells a story about India as a nation. I think they have always been very welcoming, and they make you feel like you are one of them,” De Villiers said.
“The biggest thing that stands out for me is the people I’ve met over there, and I think the obvious ones. Virat Kohli and my time with RCB and if I go a further back, I think of Glenn McGrath, spending time with him. He was this hard guy and all of a sudden, I’m sitting with him in the change room and having a beer after the game,” he added.
AB de Villiers, also known as Mr 360, further said the SA20 is happening at the very right time and will provide a great platform and exposure to the youngsters of the country.
“I think the SA20 is coming at a really good time for South African cricket. And we have seen the amazing things these leagues have done to the cricketers of a particular nation, to give foundation to the youngsters and exposure at the highest level against the best players around the world and this is what it’s all about,” he said.
The former RCB batter said he is excited to see the likes of Dewald Brevis and other youngsters getting out on the field and expressing themselves.
“Great to have Indian people involved being the investors and some of them are larger companies. I think there are a lot of young players who have come through in the last few years. I think of, very first up in my list Dewald Brevis. I’m looking forward to watching him play and a few other youngsters who performed really well,” De Villiers concluded.