Imagine the joy of creating a castle with arduous effort only for someone to simply trample it with the foot? You soon realise, it’s nothing more than a sand castle. Picture a delightful scene where a bunch of kids are smiling on the swing in the house garden only for someone to violently push them away. They soon come trampling down. 

In the light of the above , those on the wrong side of the result, were bowlers – utterly brutalised and violently smashed. 

And the force that led to such disparaging treatment, particularly in the IPL, was a certain AB De Villiers. 

Not longer after the world of cricket sobbed tears of agony in the retirement of a legend like Sir Viv and daredevils like Sanath Jayasuriya and Virender Sehwag, there came this prevalent feeling that we’d never see someone deal in carnage the way such distinguished achievers did. 

Guess what? We got it all wrong. South Africa, ever endowed with blistering talents, birthed in AB de Villiers- a champion swatter of the cricket ball unlike anyone we’d come to see. 

Perhaps it’s fair to say that it’s to our good fortune that AB de Villiers opted to spread his love for the game and essentially with it, his dismal treatment of bowlers by participating in the Indian Premier League.  

The daring batter did that by signing up for the Delhi Daredevils exactly fourteen years ago and walked down the pitch to bat, for the first time ever precisely on May the second in 2008. 

To a team that had the huge services of Sehwag, among the most dangerous hitters of the ball, it was nothing short of an asset to have an AB de Villiers, still growing in his craft, still rising one game at a time, to wield the bat. 

Though interestingly, we’ve largely come to associate De Villiers with the Royal Challengers Bangalore down to his massive popularity with what became his permanent IPL residence, what we tend to forget is that the IPL franchise that became his first apartment (in a country that’s like a second home to AB), was Delhi Daredevils. 

And Abraham Benjamin de Villiers didn’t take all that long to reciprocate some of that massive love he got from India and the IPL; in his very first appearance with the famous franchise, De Villiers arrived at the crease and engaged in a quintessential “AB show!”

Chasing 170 to win, by no standards a dainty total to chase even today, De Villiers contributed by way of a brisk 26, requiring no more than 3.3 overs to get those fine runs.  

Moreover in ensuring that his side won the contest, which was against an MSD- powered Chennai Super Kings, the fierce smasher of the white ball remained unbeaten until the end. 

While it may not have been an exhibition of voracious run scoring, the kinds we’ve seen AB smash in his later years for Bangalore, his maiden IPL appearance was a confidence-boosting occurrence for a Delhi that had lapped up an engrossing talent. 

Though make no mistake. The 2008 edition of the IPL wasn’t all exactly about sending fielders on a leather hunt. 

For starters, AB didn’t get to play all the games. Remember back then, he was just a newcomer to the sport, having not yet become a bowler devouring beast. 

He was left out of the playing eleven in the contests against what was King’s XI Punjab back then (Punjab Kings now), Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians and a contest held at the latter stages against Rajasthan Royals. 

Moreover, AB tried and missed going big in a few innings before truly finding his rhythm, something which he’d find eventually but not before the later editions of the IPL. 

For instance, he made 20(22) v Rajasthan Royals in that edition, which was then the third highest score by a Delhi batsman in the contest. 

Against KKR that season, he could only make 7 off twelve deliveries. Moreover, less than a week after making his IPL debut, AB de Villiers was out for a first-ball-duck versus the Chennai Super Kings

Though it wasn’t that AB wasn’t trying; in a contest against Bangalore that season, AB got going as far as making 21 off four overs. But it was – well and truly speaking- his big arrival for the Daredevils on May 2, 2008 that many remembered though maybe not the bowlers as such.  

That his first outing with the bat yielded a win for his Delhi franchise was an able answer why we didn’t have amid us just some random IPL export from South Africa; what we did have, instead, was a batting behemoth who’d show bowlers true colours as the tournament truly exploded in its later seasons.  

Whether it’s his going down on one knee to execute a killer six over the fine leg boundary, the enigmatic acrobats in the field seeing which one evidenced excruciating pain whilst also sheer astonishment as to how AB pulled off some of the things he (actually) did, De Villiers soon became a huge reason to evidence packed houses in IPL games. 

But a story that goes well beyond a thousand miles often begins with a first step; in the mighty Protea’s regard, one’s glad it finally began on May 2, 2008- a date that brought the arrival of an IPL legend to-be. 


  1. This is awesome to read about mr.360 degrees.He is one of the tremendous players in the ipl , more he the one who is the deadliest power cricket world.
    The style of this batting was really “Wow”.
    I Think 2016 match against Gujarat Lions
    ABD was hitting like a giant and opposite site virat kohli got engaged with ABD.
    That’s the history record of partnership ever in IPL History,
    Thanks for your content. It will Bring Back good Memories.


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