• Praise for Amla appointment

    The cricket world responded positively to Hashim Amla’s elevation to the post of Proteas Test captain.

    Following the announcement, former players took to twitter to pass on their congratulations, and express their opinion on Amla being made the new Test skipper.

    The man Amla is replacing, Graeme Smith, was one of the first to have a say, posting on Twitter: ‘Just landed in Jhb to news of @amlahash congrats my bud and excited to watch you shape proteas test future’.

    Veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who retired from the format at the end of 2013, said Amla was the right man for the post: ‘Congrats @amlahash on being named captain of the Test team. Well deserved.’

    The plaudits came from far and wide, ranging from SuperSport commentator HD Ackerman to Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana, and former Test skipper Ali Bacher, who joked that it is a relief Amla has no ‘skeletons in his closet.’

    Speaking at the press conference, Amla himself spoke of his delight at being given the position. ‘It is an honour and a privilege to be given this responsibility. I would like to pay tribute to the leadership Graeme Smith has provided throughout my international career. This is an exciting challenge, but one that I take on with positivity with our Test team being in exceptionally good space at the moment with the support of a strong core of senior players.

    ‘I have concentrated on taking my batting to the highest possible level and now I feel I am in a position to make a contribution to South African cricket in a leadership role,’ he said, before being whisked away for a host of media interviews.

    Meanwhile, Australian captain Michael Clarke was today handed the ICC’s Test mace at a training session in Brisbane, as Australia were elevated to the No 1 position after the annual update of the Test Team Rankings Table.

    Australia are now on 123 ratings points, level with South Africa, however, when ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, Michael Clarke’s side is ranked ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a point.

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