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A 360-degree South African player who dons jersey number 17: Not AB de Villiers

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Dewald Brevis (Baby AB) is among the shortlisted players in IPL 2022 Mega Auction

A 360-degree South African player who dawns jersey number 17: Not AB de Villiers. Dewald Brevis U-19 sensation from South Africa. Dewald Brevis is shortlisted for IPL 2022 Mega Auction. (©ICC/GettyImages)
Dewald Brevis known as Baby AB is among the shortlisted players in Mega Auction (©ICC/GettyImages)

Sometimes when we follow the game, it’s stupid to see just one shot, a 20-run knock. A boundary, a cut and you go there’s your player. Sometimes you can’t explain it but you see something special in someone

The above quote is an excerpt from the documentary Down Underdogs where former England opener, Nick Knight talks about Shubman Gill. South Africa U-19 batter Dewald Brevis elicits similar emotions when you see him play.

Strong wrists, low centre of gravity, finesse with strokes, ability to take on bowlers and hit them to any part of the park. In other words, all the ingredients for a future star. One look at Brevis and you can notice how he is at home against pace and spin alike, reads the length quickly and has a 'lot of time'. An attribute that was last associated aptly with Rohit Sharma.

Despite South Africa's underwhelming run in the ongoing ICC Under-19 World Cup, Dewald Brevis has been grabbing eyeballs for a variety of reasons. The sample size is small but in the five games that he has played for SA U-19, Brevis is leading the charts for the most number of runs scored (368), most fifties (three) in the World Cup. Except for the failure in the first game, Brevis has notched up a notable score in every single game.

Dewald Brevis known as Baby AB is leading the highest run-scorers chart with 368 runs in ICC U-19 World Cup 2022. (©ICC/GettyImages)
Dewald Brevis is leading the highest run-scorers chart with 368 runs in U-19 World Cup. (©ICC/GettyImages)

Baby AB (Dewald Brevis)

Dewald Brevis is also being called “Baby AB”, a comparison to South African living legend, AB de Villiers, and not without good reason. Firstly, they both donned the number 17 jersey. Talking about the same in an ICC player feature, Brevis explained how he sought AB’s “permission” to wear number 17 on the back of his jersey. Brevis further added how his relationship with AB is 'personal and close to his heart'.

“In my years of growing up, AB de Villiers has been a role model for me... I have chatted with AB quite a lot. It is a special relationship, something that I keep close to the heart and don't talk a lot about. He has given me small advice, small things to improve my game.”

The jersey connection is not where things end. There is an uncanny resemblance to Brevis and AB’s batting styles. When asked about his favourite shots, Brevis mentioned how he loves ‘playing straight down the ground’ and ‘over the bowler’s head’. But before being taken as a purist he was quick to mention how he loves playing ‘360-degrees around the ground’.

Any guesses on Brevis’s preferred choice of the T20 franchise? Royal Challengers Bangalore. Brevis has been posting pictures in RCB’s jersey and has expressed his interest in playing for the Bengaluru-based franchise. Furthermore, Brevis has also registered for the 2022 mega-auction, scheduled to take place on February 12-13 in the Silicon Valley of India, i.e., Bengaluru.

Earlier this year, AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of cricket and the Bengaluru-based franchise had to let go of a regular in their squad. AB had been part of the RCB family since 2011 and remained a mainstay for them through the years. Just imagine, Brevis being welcomed into the family on February 12 and the South African legacy being carried on. The idiosyncrasies, the fantasies and the resemblance notwithstanding, it is undeniable that Dewald Brevis is special.


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