Hashim Amla has quit as captain of the Proteas.
There have been weeks of speculation about his role, and how it affected his batting, but most commentators believed that the Proteas performance against England in the second Test, in which he scored a double hundred had done enough to secure his position.
The news came as a complete surprise to all the media. Even Supersport commentators were on their way home when they got called back to the stadium for the shock announcement.
‘After careful consideration I will step down as South African captain with immediate effect,’ he told a press conference after the drawn match against England. ‘The decision was made two weeks ago, not over the last couple of days. It just so happened I got 200 runs, but it has been coming,’ he said. ‘I believe I can be of greater value to the Proteas as a fully-focused batsman and senior player at this time of rebuilding.
‘I have chatted to some of the guys in the team so I don’t think it will come as a surprise. AB is very able and a brilliant captain.
‘In life, if you’re going to do something you should enjoy it. I’ve enjoyed being captain, and I thought I could add value,’ he added. ‘This decision was not an easy one to make but I felt I needed to be true to myself; I have given my best.’
There has been much speculation that Amla was always a reluctant captain, but he denied this. ‘I am deeply honoured to have done the job. I remain committed to the Proteas in all forms of the game,’ he said.
AB de Villiers, as vice-captain, will take over for the remaining two Tests, at the Wanderers, and Centurion.
‘Hashim is a good friend and close colleague. I am grateful for his support,’ said De Villiers