Lahore Qalandars' superstar batsman AB de Villiers will not be visiting Pakistan for the Karachi leg of Pakistan Super League 2019 due to "an injury", the franchise announced on Monday.
"It was initially decided that AB will return to join the squad for Qalandars final two league games but following a back injury, he has been advised rest by doctors," the Qalandars stated in a press release.
"I am very disappointed that I will not be able to play in front of the passionate Pakistani cricket fans," said De Villiers, who had taken over the captaincy following Mohammad Hafeez's injury. "I saw my doctor who has advised complete rest for two weeks and, unfortunately, that rules me out of the games in Karachi.
"I hope to be a part of the HBL PSL next year and very much hope to play my part in the return of international cricket to the country. I am backing Lahore Qalandars to go all the way and win the trophy this year."
“It’s a disappointing news for Lahore Qalandars management and its fans that AB de Villiers will not be able to make it for Pakistan’s leg of PSL but we wish him a speedy recover. He is a wonderful player and an amazing person," Sameen Rana, the Qalandars' franchise manager added.
De Villiers had taken an awkward fall while reaching for the crease during the Qalandars' Feb 23 match against Quetta Gladiators. In the immediate aftermath, his injury was played down and described as "minor stiffness". The Proteas legend had even played both the followup matches.
De Villiers' absence is yet another blow for the injury plagued Qalandars who had already lost Hafeez and Brendan Taylor.