Johannesburg: South Africa cricket team captain AB de Villiers is “incredibly humbled” by the huge response his autobiography has been getting in India even before it’s launch there next week.
Asked at the South African launch of the book here on Thursday night whether this was because of his huge popularity among Indian cricket fans, de Villiers said he had never expected the kind of response he gets in India every time he plays there.
“It was probably the most humbling experience of my life walking out there in the final ODI against India at Wankhede Stadium (in 2015),” De Villiers said.
“I walked out there to bat and the entire crowd was cheering ‘AB! AB!’ and chanting so loud that I could not even hear myself talk.
“It was happening in the whole series, but then it hit me really hard that I was very far away from home and here the people were supporting me like I was their own, yet I was playing against their own,” he added.
Managing director of publishers Pan McMillan, Terry Morris said: “We always knew that AB’s autobiography and the reception to it in South Africa would be overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic, but we weren’t however prepared for the response from the sub-continent.”
“No sooner had AB tweeted almost a year ago about the cover shoot and the Pan McMillan South Africa twitter handle was trending in India.
“The book rose to Number 35 on the Amazon India charts last week based on pre-publication orders ahead of its launch in the country next week,” Morris added.
Confirming de Villiers popularity in India, former Protea cricketer and Mumbai Indians consultant Jonty Rhodes wrote in the foreword of the book: “I had heard an Indian crowd chant before, but not like this. It was freaky.”