The Proteas ODI captain has expressed his unhappiness over not being given the Test post, but said he will give his full support to Hashim Amla.
‘I will not beat around the bush. I’m disappointed that I’m not the captain.’ These were the words of the ODI skipper, speaking to the Beeld newspaper on Thursday.
He went on to say that while not getting the post hurt, he would back Amla, who was named the new Test skipper at a press conference on Tuesday. ‘Everyone has dreams and ambitions and hopes they will become reality but I accept the situation and will not let it come between me and Hashim. It would be very stupid of me if I let it affect my game and my role in the team. The choice is made. I wish Hashim all the best and will give him all of my support.’
When Graeme Smith retired, leaving the post vacant for the first time in 11 years, De Villiers was considered the frontrunner to take over. He had experience leading the ODI and T20I sides, and had been Smith’s vice-captain in Tests for the past few seasons. Speaking just a few weeks ago, De Villiers himself seemed confident of getting the post. He told ESPNCricinfo that he was ‘ready to take over the Test captaincy. I would love to do it.’
However, he did temper that assertion by saying he would support whoever was named. ‘Whoever gets it, I hope he will have the support from the team, from the staff and from the administrators. He will have my support if it’s not me. We’ve lost some big names but some new players will get the opportunity to become heroes in the country. It’s important for senior guys like myself, Hashim, Dale, JP to move forward and to take that culture that Graeme and Jacques and Mark left behind. We have to show them the way. I am looking forward to the challenge of taking the team forward.’
De Villiers will now have to do that as vice-captain, rather than, as he had hoped, skipper.