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Cricket News

Cricket-De Villiers skips Big Bash but open to future Brisbane return

MELBOURNE, Oct 27 (Reuters) - AB de Villiers has decided to skip this year’s Big Bash League due to family and COVID-19 related issues but the batsman has “unfinished business” at the Brisbane Heat and hopes to return at some point, the team said on Tuesday.

Coach Darren Lehmann said Brisbane had been keen to re-sign the South African, who is currently playing in the Indian Premier League, but factors emerged that “changed everyone’s plans”.

“The main one, aside from the challenges represented by COVID-19 and international travel, is that AB and his wife Danielle are expecting their third child very soon,” added Lehmann.

“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.”

De Villiers said he intended to return to the Heat once the situation improved.

“... with a young, growing family, and the uncertainty around travel and conditions due to COVID19, we reluctantly decided it wasn’t going to be this season,” he said in a statement.

“I am very open to returning to the club in the future. The team didn’t get the results we were hoping for and I consider there is some unfinished business to deal with.”

Brisbane have retained the services of Afghan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for this year’s tournament, which begins on Dec. 3. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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