Cricket / abdevilliers

BPL and Riders set to gain from de Villiers' arrival
Steven Smith and David Warner's injuries have meant that the Bangladesh Premier League will be without two of their marquee players for a part of this edition. While Smith is already back home in Australia, Warner will be on his way soon. And that makes AB de Villiers's arrival in Bangladesh as significant for the league as for the franchise he'll turn up for, the Rangpur Riders. "I have heard good things about the BPL," de Villiers told the media after his arrival in Sylhet. "I have asked guys at the IPL what it's like, and they said quality of cricket is fantastic. It is a tournament that's growing from strength to strength every year. I am very happy to be part of it this year." Rangpur Riders have lost their last three matches, and desperately need a win. De Villiers joining the squad should auger well for the franchise that already has players like Chris Gayle and Alex Hales. "It is a fantastic squad when looking at the names. It is a really well-balanced team. I know the Rangpur Riders have had some success in the past. If we can get bit of a run going towards the latter stages of the tournament, the last six games in the pool stage, hopefully we do qualify for the knockouts." De Villiers is going to be around for at least six BPL matches, after which he will feature in the Pakistan Super League and then the Indian Premier League. "I have played a bit of cricket in the Mzansi League in South Africa," he said. "You can call it the start of my new season. I have to stay fit and busy. I love coming to Bangladesh. I haven't been here for a while. "I have always enjoyed wickets that turn a bit, and then you get some good wickets as well. I have seen our last game against Sylhet. The wicket played pretty well. Hoping for that again tomorrow." While the Riders will be expecting some runs from de Villiers, the 34-year-old has made his peace with sport, which serves up good and bad days. "I have expectations throughout my career, so it is nothing new to me. The game of cricket is up and down. You can't perform every game. I am also realistic about the sport. I don't expect too much of myself. But I do expect some fireworks from time to time."