Boult: It would have been 'awesome' to bowl to AB

AB de Villiers (Gallo)
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Birmingham - New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult acknowledges that it would have been "awesome" to bowl against AB de Villiers at the 2019 World Cup. 

The Black Caps are preparing for Wednesday's pool stage clash against the Proteas in Birmingham, and the 29-year-old Boult spent a fair chunk of his pre-match press conference on Tuesday answering questions on South Africa. 

The rivalry between the sides at the World Cup over the years means that Wednesday's encounter is one drenched in history. 

New Zealand have beaten the Proteas in all of the last four World Cup matches between the sides, including the 2015 semi-final in Auckland and the 2011 quarter-final in Dhaka.

Boult played in the 2015 match, considered one of the greatest moments in New Zealand's cricketing history, and he charged in as De Villiers belted 65* off 45 to help the Proteas to 281/5 from 43 overs in what was a rain-affected innings. 

It obviously wasn't enough, but De Villiers' contribution in what would prove to be his final World Cup match was another example of why he is considered on of the best batsmen of this generation. 

The 35-year-old De Villiers, who retired from international cricket in May last year, made headlines during the 2019 World Cup when he allegedly made himself available for World Cup selection on the day before the squad was announced. 

De Villiers is yet to comment on the matter himself, but Boult said on Tuesday that he would have enjoyed the opportunity to bowl against him once more.

"I really enjoy bowling to the likes of the ABs, Chris Gayles, the Virat Kohlis," said Boult.

"I'm sure every bowler does.

"They grow up wanting to play this game for a reason, and that's to challenge yourself against the best players in the world.

"In my opinion, AB is still one of those players. It would be awesome to be playing against him.

"I don't have too many opinions on South Africa's cricket ... to do what they do and play who they want to play, but it would have been great to see him here."

Wednesday's massive clash between the Proteas and Black Caps gets underway at 11:30 (SA time). 

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...  

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