South Africa legend AB de Villiers is is currently enjoying his first stint as a television commentator for SuperSport at the ongoing Betway SA20 league. The Proteas legend, who had started his journey with the IPL when he was just 24 years old, said SA20 will help youngsters take their game to the next level in the same way that IPL helped his game.
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De Villiers was still finding finding his way around the international scene, when he played in the inaugural edition of the IPL. But the glitzy Indian Premier League, helped de Villiers take his game to the next level. The South African legend shared the dressing room with the cricketing greats and that helped his talent grow.
Seeing the local young talent of South Africa playing in the SA20 league, de Villiers believes the league will help unearth more talent. He believes the experience of playing with world renowned coaches such as Lance Klusener (Durban’s Super Giants), Stephen Fleming (Joburg Super Kings), Simon Katich (MI Cape Town), Graham Ford (Pretoria Capitals), JP Duminy (Paarl Royals) and Adrian Birrell (Sunrisers Eastern Cape) will elevate South Africa’s promising cricketers to the next level.
“It is difficult to explain the value of youngsters spending time with some of the best players and coaches in the world,” De Villiers said following the first half of the League matches.
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“I had that experience in 2008 in my very first IPL. I found myself in the same dressing-room as Glenn McGrath, Dan Vettori, Shoaib Malik, Viru Sehwag … the list goes on. The impact that had on my game was immense. You saw my game grow from 2008 onwards and I took it to the next level. And it was largely because of that. Spending time with experienced campaigners from different countries.”
De Villiers spots young talent
After watching the action closely, De Villiers has, of course, kept a close eye on young prodigy, MI Cape Town’s Dewald Brevis, but has also identified young Sunrisers Eastern Cape opener Jordan Hermann as a player to watch.
Hermann, 21, was a late addition to the Sunrisers’ squad after being called up as a wildcard.
De Villiers also offered to assist Hermann in his development in order for the youngster to fulfil his immense potential.
“At the top of my head among the batters is Jordan Hermann. I didn’t even know about him before the tournament to be honest. Heard his name once, and then I watched him bat, and I was really impressed,” the former Proteas captain said.
“I would love to work with these batters. I really have a lot of passion in regards to that. You have to evolve as a player. If you stagnate you will end up not enjoying the game. I think there needs to be constant check-ups, think that’s what kept me fresh. I always wanted to raise the bar every single season until the very end,” signed off the Proteas legend.