Russell Domingo says people undervalue Hashim Amla and called the criticism of him ‘harsh’.
Domingo felt the need to defend Amla at the post-match press conference after the final day of the Newlands Test, where Amla announced his resignation as captain of the Test team.
He said people don’t appreciate what Amla has done for South African cricket.
‘I honestly feel that a lot of the criticism Hashim’s faced over the last couple of weeks has been very harsh. He is one of South Africa’s greatest ever players. Statistically, he is up there as one of the best players,’ Domingo said.
‘I’m just venting here a little bit because I honestly feel there hasn’t been enough respect shown for what he has achieved as a player. If I think of his performances over the last year , he’s still averaging 45 as captain [49 actually]. He went to Zimbabwe and won a series there, went to Sri Lanka and won a series there which no other captain has done.
‘He won a series against the West Indies; he’s gone to India where a lot of captains have lost under very tough conditions and we’ve come here with six new players who’ve all played less than 10 Test matches. It’s a very young team. I think there’s been quite a lot of harsh things said about him.
‘That he has sacrificed himself for the team speaks volumes for him and people need to appreciate that type of character, not just about what you see on the field. I think we sometimes undervalue that.’
Domingo and Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat reiterated the fact that Amla would remain an important member of the leadership group within the team.
‘Hashim has a lot of experience, expertise and advice that he can give, particularly to the younger players in the side so he’ll still have a massive role to play within the leadership structures of the team,’ Domingo said.
Amla said the temptation was there to see the series through.
‘But I always feel, if you as a player are not good enough then you don’t play and I feel if somebody else can add more value to the team as captain then why wait and maybe be a hindrance for the guys in the remaining two Tests?
‘If someone else can do a better job than me, then rather get them in immediately so the team can start moving forward, or whatever the case may be.’