“World class players don’t just come along every day and to have a player of AB’s stature and skill in the BBL is a fantastic outcome for everyone, not just the Heat,” he said.
“He’s a 360-degree player, great skills, outstanding temperament and an insightful leader.
“We’re excited to bring him into the group this summer and allow him to showcase his skills for the fans.”
De Villiers, who retired from international cricket last year, piled on 442 runs at a strike rate of 154 – including five half centuries – for Royal Challengers Bangalore in this year’s IPL.
More recently, he scored 348 runs at an average of 69.6 and posted a strike rate of 182.19 in England’s T20 Blast.
De Villiers said the decision to join the Heat was an easy one.
“The Heat have always stood out to me,” he told brisbaneheat.com.au.
“Brisbane is a lovely city – I’ve been there a few times before travelling with the South African team.
“I love the place, I love the weather. It’s similar to Pretoria, where I’m from.”
“They play the kind of cricket that I want to be associated with. It’s quite aggressive. They go after the attack.
“And the Gabba, it’s a beautiful cricket field. It’s a great wicket and games are always of a high quality.”
De Villers said conversations with Heat’s former New Zealand star Brendon McCullum and the chance to play alongside Chris Lynn had convinced him to play in the Australian competition.
“I’ve spoken to Chris a few times after games in the IPL. I always enjoy the way he plays the game, he really goes after the bowling, he attacks the game, and he seems like a really good teammate,” he said.
“He gives his best shot for the boys. I’m looking forward to joining forces with him,” de Villiers said.