South African cricketers link up with Sonny Bill Williams ahead of facing Black Caps
The sporting connections of Sonny Bill Williams stretch across a variety of codes, including cricket it appears.
In the country to face the Black Caps across all three formats, a trio of South African cricketers caught up with the star All Blacks and Blues midfielder ahead of the lone T20 at Eden Park on Friday night.
Williams posted a photo on social media on Monday with classy batsman Hashim Amla, seamer Wayne Parnell and leg-spinner Imran Tahir, captioning the picture "always good catching up with the brothers when in town".
Always good catching up with the brothers when In town. pic.twitter.com/QJF8CKJCGZ— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) February 13, 2017
Asked about the picture on Thursday, Tahir indicated the feeling was certainly mutual.
"Every time we are here Sonny always comes to see us," the world's No 1-ranked ODI and T20 bowler said.
"He is a very kind man and I have lot of respect for him, it was lovely to see him again. I wish I could have muscles like him.
"I'm really pleased and happy with what he has achieved in his life. He's just an unbelievable guy ... a wonderful human being."
All four sportsmen practice the Muslim religion and Tahir said he met Williams two years ago through his friendship with Amla.
Tahir added his admiration for Williams, who has played 33 tests for the All Blacks and also played for the Kiwis league team, in the NRL and been involved in a number of professional boxing bouts, had been sparked by the first time the pair crossed paths.
"[For] the amount of respect he has and what a big name he is in the world he is very down to earth man.
"When I first met him first I was shaking because he was walking with us in an Auckland street and you could see people's reaction, I was blown away by that.
"He stopped for everyone and took pictures and everything. I've never seen someone that famous but he is a great guy, great human being and good friend."
Following Friday's match, the South African cricket side also face New Zealand in five one-day internationals and three tests.