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AB de Villiers confirms groundbreaking trip to Pakistan

14 January 2019 8:11 AM
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Cape Town - AB de Villiers has confirmed that he will play in Pakistan for the first time since 2007 in this year's Pakistan Super League (PSL).

De Villiers, who retired from international cricket last year, is playing for the Lahore Qalanadars in this year's tournament.

Only available for the group stages of the tournament because of family commitments, De Villiers was originally set to play the matches in the UAE.

But the 34-year-old has now confirmed that he will be available to play in the matches against Islamabad United and the Multan Sultans in Lahore.

It is a groundbreaking decision from De Villiers given how security issues in Pakistan have left the country unable to attract touring teams.

De Villiers will be one of the most high-profile players to play in Pakistan since they last hosted Test cricket in the 2008/09 season.

Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir and David Miller, meanwhile, played in Pakistan in September 2017 for a World XI side in three T20Is.

"I am delighted to confirm that I will represent Lahore Qalandars in front of our home crowds on 9 and 10 March, during the HBL PSL 2019," De Villiers said in a statement.

"I look forward to revisiting the Gaddafi Stadium and aim to play my part in helping Lahore Qalandars achieve something they have been aspiring for since the inception of this tournament in 2016.

"I am fully aware that cricket is like a second religion in Pakistan. I still remember the support and appreciation we received in 2007. Furthermore, I feel I have a role to play in helping international cricket return to Pakistan. These have been some of the motivating factors for me to return to Lahore.

"I sympathise with the people of Pakistan because they have been cricket-starved for no fault of theirs, but I am optimistic that the days are not too far when international cricket will return to Pakistan and the stadia will once again be packed with crowds."


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