Johannesburg: Proteas' ODI captain AB de Villiers has taken the top spot on a list of South African celebrities with the greatest number of Twitter followers.
AB de Villiers
Teammates JP Duminy, Albie Morkel and Faf du Plessis also featured on the list, although retired Proteas Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis scored even higher than them. The inaugural list was compiled by media company BlackSmokeAgency, which hopes to research it regularly.
De Villiers' 2.68m followers narrowly beat those of renowned South African comedian Trevor Noah, who recently took over a top TV show in the US. Noah had 2.63m followers. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith came in 5th with 905,000 followers and retired all-rounder Jacques Kallis' 849,000 followers put him in sixth place.
Faf Du Plessis was at 8th position with 778 000 followers; JP Duminy 9th with 769,000 and Albie Morkel ended the top 10 list with his 754,000 followers. All the other positions in the top 10 list were held by people from the music, TV and radio industry.
Commentators here said the dominance of cricketers in the list showed that the public gave them a celebrity status equal to that of people in the local entertainment industry. The absence of players from any other sport also confirmed the popularity of cricket in South Africa.