Former South Africa batsman AB de Villiers will not be available for the Brisbane Heat in the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League as he and his wife Danielle are expecting their third child.
The uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected De Villiers' decision to play in the BBL.
We would like to keep working with AB de Villiers when circumstances allow: Darren Lehmann
Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann accepted that the absence of AB de Villiers would be a huge blow to their team. However, Lehmann understands that De Villiers has family commitments and is hopeful that he could play for their side once again whenever the circumstances allow for it to happen.
"While things initially looked fine for him to come back, there have been a few factors emerge which have changed everyone's plans. The main one, aside from the challenges represented by Covid-19 and international travel, is that AB and his wife Danielle are expecting their third child very soon," Darren Lehmann was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
"Naturally we're very pleased for them and know that the next few months will be a very special time for all. We'll stay in contact and see what develops. He has been in excellent touch in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore, so he obviously remains a player we'd like to keep working with when the circumstances allow," he further added.
Lehmann also spoke about Mujeeb Ur Rahman rejoining the Brisbane Heat and is excited about what he would bring to the table.
Mujeeb had an impressive Carribean Premier League where he ended up being the second highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.29.
The head coach also threw light on his experience in the Indian Premier League and how his ability to adapt to different conditions would come in handy for the Heat.
"He's doing a lot of the little things as well as anyone, and his control and maturity have gone to a new level, I believe. He was outstanding in the Caribbean Premier League recently when he was the second leading wicket-taker in the competition, and he's shown in the IPL that he can handle the very best," Darren Lehmann said.
"We're very pleased to have him back with us and with the BBL schedule potentially looking quite different to the usual format, his versatility and ability to create chances in a range of conditions will be very important for us," he further added.
Although the Brisbane Heat will miss the services of AB de Villiers, Mujeeb could prove to be a valuable addition to the franchise and become the X-factor that sets them apart from the rest.