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Brisbane Heat lose AB de Villiers for 2020-21 Big Bash League season

The Brisbane Heat have confirmed they will be without AB de Villiers for the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season.

The South African great ruled himself out of the 2020/21 BBL season because of family reasons and the uncertainty of travelling to Australia amid COVID-19 border restrictions.

De Villiers, a star signing for the Heat last season, said he and his wife Danielle were expecting their third child.

“It’s exciting for Danielle and me with the arrival of our new baby very soon,” de Villiers said in a Heat statement.

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“So, with a young, growing family, and the uncertainty around travel and conditions due to COVID-19, we reluctantly decided it wasn’t going to be this season.”

De Villiers, who scored 146 runs at an average of 24.33 last season, said he was “very open” to returning to the Heat in the future.

“The team didn’t get the results we were hoping for [last season] and I consider there is some unfinished business to deal with,” said de Villiers, who is currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Heat coach Darren Lehmann said he respected de Villiers’s decision and hoped he would return to the club at some stage beyond this season.

“We have always stressed the importance of family within the Heat and this is an instance where we fully back any decisions that AB makes in this regard,” he said.

“We’ll stay in contact and see what develops. He has been in excellent touch in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore, so he obviously remains a player we’d like to keep working with when the circumstances allow.”

Although the Heat have lost de Villiers, they have been buoyed by the re-signing of Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Mujeeb is the International Cricket Council’s number two-ranked T20 international spinner.

He joins England’s Tom Banton as the Heat’s two overseas signings.

“I know Mujeeb enjoys coming to Brisbane and the challenge of playing in the BBL so it’s exciting he is coming back,” Lehmann said.

The 10th BBL season gets underway in December.


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