South African legend AB de Villiers has been named as the global ambassador of the UAE T20x – the T20 league which will be held later this year in the Emirates.
Labelled as ‘Mr 360’, the all-rounder was confirmed as the new face of the tournament which will run between 19 December to 11 January across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The 34-year-old will not play in the event but is looking forward to supporting the UAE T20x by inspiring youngsters, interacting with the fans and helping to promote UAE cricket.
“T20 has always been a format I have loved, and around the world it has done a great job of growing interest in the sport,” said De Villiers.
“UAE T20x is a really exciting addition to the cricketing calendar, and its ambition to give more young, emerging cricketers, from around the world, the chance to play this format alongside some of the world’s best, is what really appealed to me. I’m delighted to be taking on this role as a T20x ambassador, particularly as it will be focused on helping to grow the game that I love in the UAE and around the world,” he added.
Having established himself in all formats, where De Villiers holds the record for the world record for the fastest half-century (16 balls), century (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls) in ODIs, the Emirates Cricket Board are delighted to rope in the former South African international.
Zayed Abbas, ECB board member and official spokesperson said: “Our intention is to build a new league that is here to stay, with innovation and fan engagement at its heart. To do this, we need to work with the very best, and this is certainly the case with AB de Villiers, who has an unparalleled track record when it comes to entertaining fans.
“His knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as we aim to leave a lasting legacy for the game. Cricket legends such as AB will also help this league promote the UAE as an international cricket hub, a producer of world-class cricket players and a major destination for prestigious cricketing events.”
De Villiers announcement comes at a time when UAE T20x has recently secured consent from Cricket South Africa to select its players for the league, taking the total number of ICC Test Member nations involved to seven.
England & Wales, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa have already given their backing. In addition, 12 ICC Associate nations have also shown their support for the league.
UAE T20x will make its debut in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah with five new franchise teams vying for the inaugural title in a 22-match format to be played over 24 days. The 16-man squad will feature six international star players, four emerging and junior players, three ICC Associate Member players and three UAE national team players.
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