Amla quits as South Africa test captain

Published 01/06/2016, 11:48 AM EST
File photo of Hashim Amla (Image Source:REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

By Mark Gleeson

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CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Hashim Amla said on Wednesday he was stepping aside as South Africa’s cricket test captain with immediate effect, a day after a double century rescued his country from possible defeat in the second test against England.

The 32-year-old made the surprise announcement just minutes after the test at Newlands ended in a draw and after Amla had led a fight back to haul his team from a precarious position.

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AB de Villiers will take over as captain for the last two tests against England.

“Naturally this decision is not an easy one but 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 or rebuilding our team,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

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“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. It was enjoyable and indeed a great learning experience.

“I kind of felt someone else could do a better job. I made my decision two weeks before the first test against England,” Amla added.

The Durban-born batsman, who made his debut against India in 2004, is a veteran of 90-tests and has scored over 7,000 runs in the longest format of the sport.

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“We respect Hashim’s decision and the manner in which he thought about it and then communicated with me,” Cricket South Africa chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat said.

“He still has a huge role to play in shaping the success of our team without the need for a leadership title. He is just that type of a person and we are very fortunate to have him in our stable.”

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