As reported earlier, the former Proteas batsman had been in negotiations to sign for the T20 league for some time now and the move was confirmed on Friday by de Villiers himself through a video message.
“Pakistan Super League has grown into one of the top T20 tournaments in the world and I’ve really enjoyed watching PSL matches in recent years. PSL is a league that has given Pakistan so much to cheer about. I certainly can’t wait and I’ll see you there,” the 34-year-old said.
The South African had called time on his international career in April this year after playing 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20s for his country. Citing the ‘unbearable pressure’ of international cricket as one of the reasons for his early retirement, the batsman had vowed to continue playing in domestic T20 competitions in South Africa along with the IPL.
De Villiers’ signing will boost the profile of the PSL immensely with the South African becoming one of the biggest stars to lend his participation to the league.
The move was welcome by Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) chairman Eshan Mani who believes it will greatly benefit the country’s youngsters.
“We are delighted with the signing of de Villiers for Pakistan Super League. He is a modern-day great and he will add immense value to the tournament. His involvement in PSL will also provide great learning opportunities for our youngsters,” the PCB chairman said.
The draft for the fourth edition of the PSL is set to take place sometime in October while the tournament is expected to be held in February-March 2019.
According to reports in Pakistan publications, the former Proteas batsman is set to participate in the country’s T20 league.
“He’s coming to PSL. As we speak, he is available for around three weeks, you can say around seven matches,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying by Geo TV.
The official PSL Twitter handle even hinted at the South African’s arrival while Quetta Gladiators had in May issued a formal invitation to the batsman to join the league.
The 34-year-old batsman called time on his international career in April this year in a move which shocked the cricketing fraternity.
De Villiers had announced his intentions of continuing to play in T20 leagues such as the IPL where he represents the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The South African was recently appointed as the global ambassador for the inaugural UAE T20x league which is slated to get underway in December this year. The swashbuckling batsman will not be participating in the league as a player, though.
The player draft for the fourth edition of the PSL is likely to take place in October this year with the banned Australian duo of Steve Smith and David Warner also reportedly in talks to participate in the T20 league.
The schedule of the tournament is yet to be finalised but it is likely to be held around February-March in 2019.
Pakistan left-arm spinning all-rounder Imad Wasim failed to pass the fitness test on Monday and will give another attempt on Tuesday, according to reports from Pakistan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has set a benchmark of 17.4 for the Yo-Yo fitness test and all players have to reach or exceed it in order to be considered for selection. Coach Mickey Arthur has made it clear that no player, no matter how big, will get selected if he fails to pass the test.
On Monday, all 18 members of the Pakistan team attending a camp in Lahore underwent a fitness test. Seventeen passed it while Wasim fell short of the mark by 0.2 points.
17 players of Team Pakistan for Asia Cup 2018 has cleared their fitness test except Imad Wasim, minimum bench mark was 17.4 points.— Ibrahim Badees (@IbrahimBadees) September 3, 2018
Junaid, Hassan and Captain Sarfraz improved significantly.
Imad will undergo test tomorrow again. @TheRealPCB @simadwasim pic.twitter.com/YNMiD4nAz3
Team across the world have different parameters for fitness. Some teams have set higher Yo-Yo benchmarks than others. England and New Zealand are said to have the highest benchmark in cricket – 19 – while Pakistan are not too far behind with a standard of 17.4.
Interestingly, India has the lowest benchmark for Yo-Yo fitness tests at 16.1. And even with a comparatively low bar, many players have failed over the years including players like Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu.