BBL 2019-20: AB de Villiers unlikely to play in the upcoming season
It was earlier reported that De Villiers was close to inking a record deal with one of the teams.
Updated - May 12, 2019 1:39 pm
The Big Bash League (BBL) has suffered a huge setback ahead of the upcoming season. Earlier, this week it was reported that the former South Africa cricketer AB de Villiers was set to strike a record deal to appear in the T20 league. It was learnt that he was close to inking the deal with one of the teams which would earn him a whopping A$ 350,000. But the cricketer has now pulled out his interest from the league putting Cricket Australia in trouble as it was looking to attract big names to attract viewership and crowd.
Amidst its popularity, BBL, over the years, has lacked the presence of star players across the world. Moreover, Australia’s national players are more often than not absent due to their international commitments. CA’s attempt to expand the tournament like IPL with 14 league matches ended up being criticised by many. Lack of big names in the competition was one of the major reasons for it.
Last month De Villiers was interested
In April, AB de Villiers’ management had informed the BBL clubs that the legendary cricketer was interested in playing the league for a limited period in late January in the upcoming season keeping in mind his Bangladesh Premier League commitments. But according to ESPNCricinfo, he has now informed the interested teams about his unwillingness to play in the tournament.
It has been also reported De Villiers has pulled out after realising that CA and BBL were looking at him as the perfect solution for the league’s affected television ratings and the match attendances. Though there is still some hope among a few clubs as De Villiers might still return to the table in search of a better offer. But as of now, his appearance in the BBL 2019/20 season looks unlikely.
This comes as a huge blow for the league as only in the last week, CA’s head of events and leagues, Anthony Everard, had expressed his delight with the teams looking to sign some big names. “Something we’ve really been focusing on irrespective of the Australian team going to India, we’re buoyed by some conversations that some of the clubs are having and it’s been reported some of the big names potentially coming out,” he had said.