AB de Villiers and CSA acting director of cricket greet each other at SuperSport Park in Pretoria, July 18 2020. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES
AB de Villiers and CSA acting director of cricket greet each other at SuperSport Park in Pretoria, July 18 2020. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

Former Proteas captain AB de Villiers says he hopes to return to playing regular cricket after his swashbuckling display in the inaugural 3 Team Cricket at the weekend.

The 36-year-old needed just 24 balls to smash 61 runs as the Takealot Eagles soared to glory to mark the return to live sport in the country for the first time since March when cricket was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The De Villiers-captained Eagles came out tops‚ followed by Temba Bavuma’s Mr D Food Kites and Reeza Hendricks’s Outsurance Kingfishers.

“Let’s hope so. I don’t know what to expect to be honest‚” said De Villiers when asked if fans can look forward to him returning to regular action after his showing on Saturday.

“It’s been a quiet few months and nothing has been really properly scheduled but I would just like to get out there and play cricket.

“That’s what ultimately it is about. There is a lot of talk, but for the meantime I will stay fit in the gym and make sure I hit cricket balls and stay in form.

“The rest depends on the organisers and other uncontrollables like the virus‚ so hopefully it moves on and we can get back to as normal as possible in no time.”

The Black Lives Matter movement took centre stage before the match, with players and coaching staff taking the knee.

“There were obviously quite a few important things out there. Just getting out as cricketers playing a bit of cricket of doing it for solidarity in SA and showing that we can stick together as a nation, that to me was ultimately what it was all about it‚” said De Villiers.

“We had a lot of fun out there. There were some good catches and good shots and good deliveries.

“It was quick‚ fast and fun, and that is what I expected of the format and that is exactly what we got.”

De Villiers conceded that he had a wobbly start but got his groove back as the match progressed and hit the bowlers all over SuperSport Park in Centurion.

“I was scratchy earlier on but once I got started it was like riding that bike again that I missed so badly.

“So, honestly, it was great to be out there and now that I have started‚ I am definitely going to stay in the mix and keep practising and try to get that form at the top level of what I can be.

“All in all I think there was a lot of good performances.”

De Villiers announced his retirement from all formats in 2018 but has been linked with a return to the Proteas side with an eye on playing in the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup in Australia later in 2020.

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