"I am deeply grateful and privileged to have been the Test captain and I wish to thank Cricket South Africa for the honour of captaining my country," said Proteas Test captain Hashim Amla when he announced his decision yesterday to step down from the role.
"It was enjoyable and indeed a great learning experience."
Amla succeeded Graeme Smith in June 2014, and has since then captained the Proteas in 14 Tests. Of these, the team won four, drew six and lost four.
Watch the press conference in which he announced his resignation, here:
Amla said stepping down was not an easy decision to take. "The more I think about it the more I believe I can be of greater value to the Proteas as a fully focused batsman and senior player at this time of rebuilding our team," he explained.
We respect Hashim's decision and the manner in which he thought about it and then communicated with me - CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 6, 2016
New captain named
Vice-captain AB de Villiers agreed to take over the captaincy for the remainder of the Sunfoil Test against England series at PPC Newlands.
"I've said this before that it is an incredible honour to captain South Africa in any format," said De Villiers. "The captaincy has obviously come at short notice and is the realisation of a lifelong dream."
His current priority was to lead the team to a memorable series win against England. "ThisTest squad is motivated and determined to turn our performances around and I'm looking forward to taking up that challenge as captain. Hashim is a good friend and close colleague and I am grateful for his support."
Amla also acknowledged the team and his fans. "Throughout my time as captain, whether in good times or tough times, I've always had the full support of my team mates, coaching staff and management," he said. "I want to acknowledge this superb group of people for always being there and for supporting me wholeheartedly."
Hey everyone . Thanks for all your messages and support. It means a lot.
— hashim amla (@amlahash) January 6, 2016
Amla fast facts
Date of birth: 31 March 1983
Place of birth: Durban, South Africa
Role: Opening batsman
Batting: Right-hand batter
Bowling: Leg breaks
Test matches: 89
Test runs: 6907
Test match centuries: 22
One day internationals: 126
ODI runs: 6008
T20 matches: 30
T20 runs: 700
Support from fans
Cricket fans around the world have supported Amla on social media:
@amlahash All best wishes from an England fan Hashim. Excellent batting this test.
— UBF riccardo (@UBFriccardo) January 6, 2016
@amlahash Captain, my captain, a legend living in our own time! Good decision from a class act. #ProteaFire
— Jax Hough (@JaxHough77) January 6, 2016
@amlahash Thank you my captain.you served the nation with pride and hope you will continue to do so.
— moeketsi moleko (@olamekx) January 6, 2016
Source: Cricket South Africa