AB de Villiers: 'It’s a very nice way for us to warm up and get ready for a big one-day tournament'

Stiaan van Zyl
Stiaan van Zyl
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South African Stiaan van Zyl is line to play for Sussex against his compatriots at Hove on Friday as South Africa warm up for their ODI series with England, and the ICC Champions Trophy. Van Zyl played 12 Test matches for his country.

The 50-over match at The 1st Central County Ground Hove, is one of two games South Africa are playing before they face England at Headingley next Wednesday.

Sussex rest Jofra Archer, Laurie Evans and David Wiese, while Jerome Taylor has a hamstring injury, which means the fast bowler has come to the end of his spell with Sussex, as replacement for Vernon Philander. Ajmal Shahzad and Abi Sakande join the squad to give Sussex captain Luke Wright more bowling options.

AB de Villiers, who will be captaining South Africa’s ODI side, said: “It’s a very nice way for us to warm up and get ready for a big one-day tournament.” He was speaking ahead of the day-night match against Sussex Sharks.

He added:“I haven’t won one of these trophies in my career, so I’m pretty desperate to win one, and we’ll do anything we can to get out on top.

“We know these tournaments are very competitive – there are eight teams that want to win it and can win it. But we do think we’ve got a very good squad here. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

“But first things first, we want to win the series against England, a team that’s been playing very good one-day cricket in their own country. They’ve done really well to come back from the 2015 World Cup. They’re obviously a very talented bunch, and they’ve earned a lot of respect.

“They will be one of the favourites for the Champions Trophy definitely, but quite a few teams stand out – India won the last Champions Trophy, and the Aussies are always a team to look out for.”