Indian Premier League

de Villiers — man with a golden heart

De Villiers is also a source of inspiration for many youngsters including Mandeep Singh and fellow South African and explosive Kings XI Punjab batsman David Miller. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar  

A.B. de Villiers is growing into an institution.

His extraordinary strokemaking and spectacular fielding efforts may have won him millions of fans across the globe, but his humility to connect with everyone and willingness to mentor the young players have raised his profile manifold.

If chatting to the spectators with a smile on his face on the boundary line projects de Villiers as a popular sporting hero, his excellent rapport with relatively younger colleagues speaks of his magnanimity. De Villiers’s entertaining brand of cricket may glut the appetite of a sports crazy generation, but his habit of spreading the knowledge on the game may help create another breed of cricketers of his ilk.

Inspirational

Royal Challengers Bangalore player Mandeep Singh cannot thank God enough for giving him a chance to share space with the great South African during the Indian Premier League (IPL). “I am speaking to him a lot and gathering knowledge. He is a big inspiration for me and I learn a lot from him,” says Mandeep.

Mandeep has made the most of the learning experience, picking up lessons on how to plan one’s innings. “I had tried to follow AB in the first match but got bowled. Then I asked him a few things about his batting and he explained about his approach. He does not always go for the unconventional shots. He improvises after playing 10-12 overs. I get to learn that if you give yourself more time then you can hit the unconventional shots nicely. “He says the priority should be on playing good cricketing shots. By doing this one will get to know how to play those (unconventional) shots.”

De Villiers is also a source of inspiration for fellow South African and explosive Kings XI Punjab batsman David Miller. For 25-year-old Miller, de Villiers is a man with a golden heart and a helping hand. “AB has been a great influence on me. He has got all the shots in the book and I try to learn from him.

“Every problem that I face, I go and speak to him. He always gives everyone a patient hearing and has always given me useful advice,” says Miller while expressing his gratitude. As a true ambassador of cricket, the 31-year-old South African has contributed immensely towards the growth of the sport. With passing of time, the legend only grows about de Villiers.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:58:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ipl/de-villiers-man-with-a-golden-heart/article7211831.ece

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