Star player backtracks from the league; leaves cricket world in quandary

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AB de Villiers backtracks from Big Bash League, leaves Cricket Australia in quandary

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SportsCafe Desk

05/12/2019

After showing interest in the league, AB de Villiers has pulled himself out of Big Bash League for 2019-20 after getting to know Cricket Australia’s internal plans. The decision has left Cricket Australia in a huge quandary as they had promised de Villiers’ presence to their host broadcasters.

De Villiers’ management team had informed BBL clubs that he was interested in taking part in the competition, but, for a limited stretch towards the tournament’s concluding stages in late January and early February. However, as per a report on Cricinfo, he has backtracked himself from the tournament after realising that Cricket Australia would make a huge amount from the tournament at his expense.

Apparently, Cricket Australia, the clubs, and the broadcasters - Fox Sports and Seven - was supposed to put together a lump sum package worth A$350,000 to get de Villiers for a segment of the tournament, though there was a level of disquiet about how such a deal could be struck without an equitable system being in place for all clubs to secure big names.

However, there is a chance that de Villiers may still return to the bargaining table in case there would be a better offer, considering the fact that he has the obvious desire for his presence in Australia next summer. While de Villiers’ signing remained elusive, it should also be noted that players like Andre Russell would demand a similar asking price, leaving the ball in CA's court.

"Cricket Australia is committed to a competition that meets fan demands. This includes supporting BBL clubs to create a competition that features international stars to complement strong local talent. The recent rule changes have been implemented so clubs have the best opportunity to recruit overseas players among a cluttered global calendar,” acting Head of the BBL Abhi Arunachalam said.

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