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'Time is right to go back to Pakistan' – De Villiers
Pakistan Super League 2019

'Time is right to go back to Pakistan' – De Villiers

Former South Africa skipper AB de Villiers hopes his participation in this year's Pakistan Super League will encourage the world's best players to return to Pakistan.

Pakistan have had to play most of their home matches in the United Arab Emirates since a 2009 terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

De Villiers will become arguably the most high-profile overseas cricketer to play in Pakistan. He will feature in two fixtures in the PSL set to be played in Lahore on March 9 and 10.

"I felt that I had this opportunity to maybe make an impact to help international cricket return to Pakistan," he told the BBC World Service's Stumped programme.

"I was reluctant to go a few years back, when we were all a bit worried, but I feel the time is right to go back there."

"I'm hoping to go there and have some fun and show the whole world that Pakistan is safe to travel to again."

Would love to play ‘The Hundred’

Meanwhile the 34-year-old added he "would love to play" in English cricket's new Hundred tournament when it launches in 2020.

Matches will be restricted to 100 balls per innings – even fewer than in T20 game – in a bid to speed up the game.

India skipper Virat Kohli had queried the need for a new format. But De Villiers said: "I can't see anything wrong with trying something different."

Read: England cricket chief backs 'Hundred' despite Kohli concerns

"I'm not set in my schedule at the moment but I would love to play in the UK.

"I'm sure with the tradition and the culture of cricket over there, it would be very well supported. I would love to be a part of it."

De Villiers, however, ruled himself out of playing in England during this year's World Cup, which starts in May.

"I feel I've made the right decision to retire. If they (South Africa) do approach me – and I don't think that will happen – we'll have a conversation and I'm pretty sure that I will be staying over here and supporting the team."