Former South African cricketer AB de Villiers will participate in this year's Everest Premier League, which is Nepal's biggest T20 tournament. The 37-year-old will be one of the biggest names on display and his presence is likely to do wonders for the tournament's popularity.
The Protean hasn't played a lot of cricket since his retirement. AB de Villiers has only participated in events such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash League (BBL), and a few other domestic competitions in South Africa.
It took persistent efforts from the EPL organizers to rope in AB de Villiers, and they expect this move to put Nepal Cricket on the global picture. As long as no unexpected commitments arise, Mr. 360 will be in action in Nepal between September 26 and October 9.
“We are trying our best to bring top international cricketers for EPL to put Nepal in the frame of global cricket. We had tried to bring AB de Villiers for the previous season as well but he couldn’t be available. This edition, he has agreed to be here. If nothing comes in between, he will be playing at the TU grounds for sure,” EPL Pvt Ltd Managing Director Aamir Akhtar told cricketingnepal.com.
AB de Villiers's EPL 2021 team yet to be decided
The six-team tournament will follow a round-robin format with the top four teams qualifying for the playoffs. However, it is yet to be confirmed as to which team AB de Villiers will represent. But there will undoubtedly be intense competition to rope in the star batsman.
“I think every franchise will run behind a player like AB de Villiers. We know other teams are also trying to get him, like us. We are hoping to rope him into our franchise,” said Lalitpur Patriots owner Kishor Maharjan.
Since its inception, the Everest Premier League has constantly attempted to bring the world's top cricketers to the tournament. Chris Gayle made headlines last year when he agreed to represent the Pokhara Rhinos. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of the tournament was postponed.
The likes of Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Rohan Mustafa, Roelof van der Merwe and Richard Levi have featured in the tournament as well.