AB de Villiers expresses interest in playing The Hundred

AB de Villiers gets down to scoop over short fine leg BCCI

AB de Villiers, the former South Africa captain, has suggested that the ECB is right to experiment with a new format and said he would "love to be part of" the proposed 100-ball competition due to be launched next year.

While "The Hundred" has met with a lukewarm response since it was announced, the ECB's chief executive, Tom Harrison, said earlier this week that it was crucial to growing the game in England over the next few years. The competition is still some way from being finalised, but playing conditions including a change of ends every 10 balls were agreed in November.

De Villiers, who retired from international duty last year, is one of the most high-profile players so far to voice support for the concept. India's captain, Virat Kohli, said during his team's 2018 tour of England that he did not want to be involved in testing a new format.

But de Villiers has taken a different view. "I can't see anything wrong with trying something different," he told the BBC.

"I'm not set in my schedule at the moment but I would love to play in the UK. I'm sure with the tradition and the culture of cricket over there, it would be very well supported. I would love to be a part of it."

De Villiers is set to become a regular on the T20 franchise circuit, following a career for South Africa in which he played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 internationals. Earlier this week he announced he would take part in upcoming Pakistan Super League games to be played in Pakistan, as part of attempts to encourage the return of international cricket to the country.

He has not previously played county cricket but would undoubtedly be a big draw for one of the eight newly created teams that will contest The Hundred.

"There's nothing wrong with experimenting with the format," he added. "It's not a huge change, but it's something different. It's nice to experiment, and in a year or two we'll see what happens."