SOUTH African cricketer AB de Villiers will be the face of Last Man Stands after an announcement earlier today that he will be the first ambassador for the cricket tournament.
Recognised as one of the most innovative batsmen, de Villiers has been named ICC ODI Player of the Year three times during his career, captained for his country in all three formats of the game and has become one of the most successful batsmen in the Indian Premier League, where he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Matt Turbill from Last Man Stands Beaudesertsaid de Villiers' appointment gave credibility to the local competition.
"The local compo was created only two years ago and proves we are here for the long term.
"We want to re-engage time poor cricketers into re-joining a local based competition with a global reach," he said.
"Even before the ambassadorship was signed, our competition for the upcoming winter has grown to 18 teams from just four teams in April 2019."
De Villiers said it was great to be involved as the first global ambassador to work with Last Man Stands.
"I have watched their innovative format grow globally at grassroots over the years and have friends back home who enjoy playing in local LMS leagues.
"It has kept a lot of players in the game when they feared they would have to give it up due to a lack of time," he said.
"We share the same desire to keep people playing and involved in cricket, and the tech advances these guys are making to connect other players around the world with global rankings and game TV highlights is fantastic."
Last Man Stands co-founder, Wayne Greve said de Villiers' courage and creativity, sportsmanship and humility embodied the Last Man Stands ethos, making him an ideal figurehead for the organisation.
"We are thrilled AB shares our passion for developing our grassroots format which we plan to extend even further globally. We both believe in contributing towards the shape of future cricket and to interconnecting global communities," he said.