Former South African star AB De Villiers has confirmed his participation in the upcoming season of the Pakistan Super League. The cricketer on Monday confirmed he will represent the Lahore Qalandars franchise. The Protean announced his retirement from cricket last year which shocked the fans. Fans back in India would be curious to know about the status of his participation for Royal Challengers Banglore later this year.

“I am delighted to confirm that I will represent Lahore Qalandars in front of our home crowds on 9 and 10 March, during the HBL PSL 2019,” said De Villiers, who played a Test and three ODIs at the venue during the 2007 tour, was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

“I look forward to revisiting the Gaddafi Stadium and aim to play my part in helping Lahore Qalandars achieve something they have been aspiring for since the inception of this tournament in 2016.”

De Villiers however, will be available for only the group stage matches but was happy to play a part to expedite the quick return of the sport to Pakistan.

“I am fully aware that cricket is like a second religion in Pakistan,” he said.

“I still remember the support and appreciation we received in 2007. Furthermore, I feel I have a role to play in helping international cricket return to Pakistan. These have been some of the motivating factors for me to return to Lahore.

“I sympathise with the people of Pakistan because they have been cricket-starved for no fault of theirs, but I am optimistic that the days are not too far when international cricket will return to Pakistan and the stadia will once again be packed with crowds.

“Due to prior family commitments, I will only be available till the last group stage game. I want to thank Lahore Qalandars for giving me an opportunity to represent them and I look forward to not only enjoying my time in the HBL PSL 2019 but also contributing in making it a stronger brand.”