The eighth edition of the Big Bash League has taken a massive hit, with South African batsman AB de Villiers turning his back on the competition.
It becomes the second big name player to decline against playing in the league after fast bowler Mitchell Johnson called time on his stellar career on Wednesday.
“The intensity and length of the BBL is just too much for someone who will be 37 at the start of the summer,” Johnson’s manager, Sam Halvorsen, told The West Australian.
De Villiers comes as one of cricket’s most entertaining ever batmen and has reportedly had several sides chasing his signature. His shock announcement to retire from all forms of the game sent shockwaves through the cricketing world last May.
“I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect,” de Villiers said.
“After 114 Test matches, 228 ODI’s and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.
“This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.
“It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on. Everything comes to an end.
With the BBL forming an expanded, more comprehensive schedule for the upcoming season, the length could play a part in international stars end decision.