Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar praised the former Royal Challengers Bangalore star on Friday as he recalled his first visit as “one of the greatest players ever.” Akhtar recalled his visit with the player back-kin during the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League and revealed what he had said.
AB de Villiers may be called the RCB legend, but he started his IPL career at Delhi Daredevils. He played for the Delhi franchise between 2008 and 2010, before moving to RCB in 2011, where he spent 10 seasons before hanging up his shoes at the end of the 2021 season.
Akhtar was one of the few Pakistani cricketers to play IPL in 2008 and was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise.
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Speaking to SportsKeeda, Akhtar recalled his first visit with De Villiers at a private event in 2008, where he said he would one day play great and lead the South African cricket team.
“I met him during the IPL in 2008. It was at a ceremony, in a private event. I told him he was a great player and asked him to be captain of the South African team.
Akhtar recalled the battle on his ground with a South African legend, who was dismissed four times in international cricket in 10 innings.
“Fortunately, whenever I encountered him, I managed to dismiss him and sometimes I thought I could dismiss him easily. Then when he came to the IPL, he tried to play a pull shot, but I knew he would come late because my delivery was too fast. And that’s exactly what happened. I still have nightmares. “I was sad and angry when he announced his retirement,” he said.
De Villiers has confirmed he will return to the IPL next year and return to the RCB camp, but his role in the 2023 season has not yet been revealed.
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