Indian T20 League changed the life of many cricketers and the former South African wicketkeeper-batter AB de Villiers is one of them. He hopes that the home-grown first-ever SA20 League (South Africa 20 League) will do the same for the younger generation in South Africa.
Six teams will participate in the inaugural SA20 league which will begin on January 10 at Newlands. The first match of the league will be played between MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals. All the teams in the league have been bought by the Indian T20 League franchises. De Villiers, who played in the major T20 league from its inception in 2008 till his retirement last year, said SA20 will give the game the boost it needs in South Africa.
“I think the SA20 comes at a really good time for South African cricket. We have seen the amazing things that these leagues have done to cricket in particular nations,” De Villiers told Cricket South Africa.
Graeme and I have come a long way together: De Villiers
De Villers said that getting an opportunity to play in the Indian T20 League changed their lives and it was a huge occasion for him as well. He also talked about the chance they get to share the dressing room with legends from other countries. He also talked about the South African legend Graeme Smith who has a big hand in organizing this big event.
“It was a huge occasion for me and a lot of the other players. The start of the Indian T20 League changed our lives. The people are really passionate about cricket. Not only with the home team but they support members in other teams as well,” De Villiers said.
“The biggest thing that stands out for me are the people that I met. I think of Glenn McGrath and the time I spent with him. He was this hard guy and all of a sudden I am sitting with him in the changeroom and having a beer with him.”
“Graeme and I have come a long way together, and to have him right at the top of SA cricket right now, making a lot of good calls, and changing things. The SA20 … I don’t think it would have been possible if it weren’t for him and all his connections and experience. I think we all owe Graeme a real thank you for bringing this big tournament to SA.” he said.