Former Proteas cricketer AB de Villiers. Photo: Michael Sherman (ANA)

LONDON – Retired South African batsman AB de Villiers has been awarded honorary life membership of Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lord’s Cricket Ground, in London.

The club has bestowed this honour in recognition of his outstanding achievements in cricket.

De Villiers, 35, who is currently playing for Middlesex in the Vitality Blast, has enjoyed a remarkable career for South Africa, playing in 114 Test Matches, scoring nearly 9,000 runs, averaging 50.66 and making 22 centuries along the way.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, regarded as one of the most dynamic players to have emerged during the modern white-ball game, played 228 One-Day Internationals (ODI) for his country, scoring 9,577 runs and averaging 53.50. He also hit a remarkable 25 ODI centuries.

De Villiers was voted as the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year in 2010, 2014 and 2015, an indication of his strength in the 50-over format.

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His 1,672 runs in T20 Internationals were made at a strike-rate of 135.16. In all, he has played in almost 300 T20 matches, scoring over 8,000 runs.

He announced his retirement from the international game last summer, but has continued to play domestically and has most recently been starring in Middlesex’s South Group campaign.

AB de Villiers will receive honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club. Photo: PA Images

He made a blistering unbeaten 88 from 43 balls on his debut against Essex at Lord’s, and matched the innings at Richmond against Somerset, a knock which took only 35 deliveries.

De Villiers, who was presented his MCC Honorary Life Membership before Middlesex’s Vitality Blast clash with neighbours Surrey, said:

“Lord’s is the best ground in the world. Everybody knows that. To be a Member is obviously a huge honour and a compliment for the way I’ve played cricket and conducted myself on and off the field.

“It’s always a huge privilege to come back to this place and now that I’m a Member it gives me a reason to come here quite often.” 

African News Agency (ANA)