Who According To AB De Villiers Is The ‘Greatest T20’ Player Of All Time?
78 T20 Internationals for his South Africa. Some 1,672 runs. No fewer than 10 half centuries. What’s more? Shots all around the wicket. That mind boggling technique that can’t be bossed or schooled and perhaps not even be imitated.
Having a strike rate north of 135 at the time of retirement from national duties.
Few players have entertained as much as had an impact on the sport as a certain AB de Villiers. Furthermore, what’s rather interesting is that even fewer players have had the privilege of having their name chanted in Indian stadia, a place where the famous words, “Sachin…. Sachin” did the rounds.
One reckons, in that regard, AB de Villiers was more than a batsman or an entertainer. He was even more than being a satan for bowlers; the incredibly popular right-hander was a cult.
And truth be told, even after nearly half a decade since his international retirement, AB de Villiers enjoys a cult-like status like few other players to have graced the game.
Rather incredibly despite not lifting a single World Cup title during his time, even in the short format of the sport, AB De Villiers cultivated a demigod like status in the form that’s commonly considered modern cricket’s savior.
At his pomp, De Villiers rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in T20 international cricket. One instantly thinks of his battles with Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard and the Trinidadian’s countryman Dwayne Bravo.
One thinks of the time when the much loved Royal Challengers Bangalore, aka the RCB had the famous troika of AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.
What’s sad is that despite the RCB possessing this epitome of grace and power, the famous Karnataka IPL franchise didn’t win a single crown title. But what’s rather interesting is who De Villiers picked as the greatest T20 player of all time.
And much to one’s surprise it isn’t Gayle or Virat, the big destroyers of the format.
It’s Rashid Khan.
AB de Villiers on Rashid Khan
“My greatest T20 player of all time is none other than Rashid Khan. He delivers with bat and ball. Match winner in both departments; he is a livewire in the field and has got the heart of a lion. He always wants to win; he’s very competitive, and he’s right there with one of the best T20 players. Not one of the best, the best.”
As a matter of fact, despite being among the youngest cricketers around, Rashid Khan happens to be the third-highest wicket taker in T20 international cricket. While he’s still quite some distance from representing Afghanistan in 100 games, having played 77, to be precise, the famous leg break specialist has picked 126 wickets.
If that’s not impressive, then what is?
Additionally, Rashid Khan is the key lynchpin of Afghanistan cricket’s big steps and eventual transformation in international cricket. His popularity has spurred youth in his wartorn country to take to bowling when cricket is so richly a batsman’s game.
Impressive choice, AB!