Tshwane Spartans Coach Mark Boucher says he did not want star man AB de Villiers to captain the team in 2019 because of the extra pressures that come with leadership.

The former Proteas captain and global Twenty20 maverick will again be the marquee player for the Centurion-based side in the Mzansi Super League (MSL) season 2.0.

The 35 year old skippered the franchise in the inaugural edition last term, but was not his usual self as they ended in a disappointing fifth out of six teams.

Boucher wants De Villiers to focus solely on his batting and enjoy his game.

De Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 and went on to play nine MSL matches, subsequently scoring 189 runs.

That form was not good enough for Boucher and he will now be looking at other options for the role. Some of those most likely to be considered are Heinrich Klaasen, Roelof van der Merwe or Dean Elgar, while there is also the option of Morne Morkel should Tshwane opt for a bowler. Boucher was also excited about their overall squad, with their Wild Card selection confirmed earlier on Wednesday when they picked Varsity Cup star Donavon Ferreira.

One stand-out feature of the Tshwane squad was the number of players familiar with the SuperSport Park surroundings. More than 80% of their players have called the ground home at some point or the other.

Boucher believes having players that know the conditions in Centurion will be a big boost to their prospects.

But the biggest thing that excites Boucher is what he called an international fast bowling attack that they have assembled. Proteas trio of Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla and Wiaan Mulder, together with marquee signing Tom Curran of England, as well as Morkel complete a tantalising pace attack.

Boucher says he cannot wait to watch them in action when the season gets underway in November.

Report by Thahir Asmal