TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
AB de Villiers’ paternity leave has been extended, courtesy of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
De Villiers was due to return home from SA’s tour of Bangladesh after the one-day series, which ends next Wednesday, to be with his wife, Danielle, for the birth of their first child.
But the one-match ban the ICC have slapped on the SA one-day captain because his team fell foul of the over-rate regulations twice in 12 months has changed all that.
Instead of sitting out the first of the three ODIs SA will play against Bangladesh, starting in Dhaka on Friday, De Villiers has been released for the whole rubber.
“AB’s presence and contributions will be missed but we have a hectic playing schedule this season and we felt this would be a great opportunity to develop the next tier of batters during this series, like we are doing with our bowlers,” a Cricket SA statement quoted Russell Domingo as saying.
“We would also like to give him the peace of mind of being close to his wife with the imminent birth of his first born child.”
Hashim Amla, the designated vice-captain, will take the reins in De Villiers’ absence.
In another personnel change, Eddie Leie, who was originally selected in the T20 squad only, will stay on for the ODIs.
Domingo called the decision “an opportunity for (Leie) to get exposed to the environment and to integrate him into the squad”.
The leg spinner “hasn’t officially been added to the squad but will take valuable learning from being around this group of players”.