South African AB de Villiers hopes his involvement in this year’s Pakistan Super League will encourage the best players in the world to return to the country.
Pakistan has played most of its home games in the United Arab Emirates since Lahore’s attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009, even though the West Indies toured Pakistan last April.
Former Proteas captain De Villiers will probably be one of Pakistan’s most prominent overseas cricketers for a decade, as scheduled, on 9 and 10 March at PSL in Lahore.
“I felt that I had the opportunity, perhaps, to gain influence to help international cricket return to Pakistan,” he told the BBC World Service’s stumped program.
“I just wanted to go back a few years when we were all a bit worried, but I think it’s time to go back there. I hope I go there, have some fun and show the whole world that Pakistan is safe again.”
Meanwhile, the 34-year-old batsman added that he would “like to play cricket at the English Centenary Tournament” when it starts in 2020.
Games are limited to 100 balls per innings – even less than in Twenty20 – to speed up the game. Indian captain Virat Kohli has inquired about the need for a new format in addition to first-class, one-day and twenty -enty cricket.
But De Villiers, who, unlike Kohli, is a “free agent” after leaving international service in May, said, “I can not find anything wrong with trying something different.”
“I’m not on my schedule at the moment but I would like to play in the UK. I’m sure Cricket’s tradition and culture are very well supported there and I’d like to be there.”
De Villiers almost quit playing in England during this year’s World Cup, which begins in May.
South Africa has never won the World Cup, but De Villiers, whose century with 31 balls against the West Indies in Johannesburg 2015 remains the fastest international national day, said: “I think I’ve made the right decision to retire.
“If they contact me (South Africa) – and I do not think that’s going to happen – we’ll talk and I’m pretty sure I’ll stay here and support the team.”