Barnes Cricket Club has been forced to deny rumours that AB de Villiers will shortly be joining them in the Middlesex County Cricket League on a short term one month contract.

The South West London club has been plagued by rumours that de Villiers wishes to keep ‘match fit for his 20/20 career’ by playing club cricket in the Middlesex League.

It is thought that a number of his long standing old school friends currently represent Barnes Cricket Club. There has allegedly been consternation in the South African team about the proposal, as they are without key players for the next game and suffered a heavy defeat at Lords.

AB de Villiers absence is being keenly felt by the South African team and it was hoped that he might be persuaded to reverse his retirement from Test cricket. A spokesman for Barnes Cricket Club said ‘While we are obviously out to recruit new players generally and flattered by AB’s alleged interest, it is mid-season and such suggestions are extremely disruptive to team unity. We confirm that anyone is welcome to attend Wednesday nets sessions and will be selected on merit. We intend to proceed on the basis that AB will not be joining us this summer and we hope that this clears up any misunderstandings’.

Article supplied by Mark Ivens