The timing of Hashim Amla’s decision to step down as Proteas captain was perhaps the most shocking element of Wednesday’s announcement. After the Proteas lost the first Test to England in Durban by a massive 241 runs, Amla re-emphasised that he was committed to the captaincy.
But on Wednesday, the 32-year-old revealed that doubts over whether or not he should be at the helm had begun working on his mind even before the England series began.
This was not Amla’s darkest hour as captain. Instead, he resigned as captain. Amla says that the decision ultimately came as a result of him feeling that he was no longer the best man for the job.
“The decision has been purely based on that I think somebody else could do a better job,” he said.
“I’ve always wanted to be somebody who leads from the front and I think throughout the captaincy I’ve managed to do that most of the time. It was just something I thought about, that crossed my mind and has been working on my mind. My leadership style … we have a very young team … I kind of felt that maybe somebody else would do a better job,” Amla said.
Amla feels that the decision will not hurt the Proteas as they look to first level and then win the series in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
“I have chatted to a few of the guys in the team already before this, so I don’t think it’s a massive shock to some of the guys,” he said.
AB De Villiers to take over
“AB is very able and he’s a brilliant captain himself and we all follow a similar goal. For me, that’s the mark of a good team… that everybody is pulling in the same direction.”
The third Test gets underway in Johannesburg on January 14. AB de Villiers says that captaining the Proteas Test side is a dream come true.
De Villiers, already skipper of the South African ODI team, was on Wednesday given the Test captaincy for the final two Tests in the ongoing England series after Hashim Amla stepped down from the role.
“I’ve said this before that it is an incredible honour to captain South Africa in any format. The captaincy has obviously come at short notice and is the realisation of a lifelong dream,” was the line from De Villiers as the news broke.
There was naturally a massive void left in South African cricket when Graeme Smith played his last Test for the Proteas in March 2014. The man who had captained his country for over a decade needed to be replaced. Initially, it appeared that one of AB de Villiers or Faf Du Plessis would get the gig. But, instead, Cricket South Africa (CSA) appointed Hashim Amla as Test captain.
CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat also denied that there had been any boardroom pressure placed on Amla before his captaincy was announced in June 2014.
“I would never influence or force somebody to do something against his or her will, I think that doesn’t set the right platform,” said Lorgat.
“I was personally responsible for speaking to each of candidates that we believed were capable of leaving … each of them were very willing and capable.”
Amla’s captained the Proteas in 14 Tests – winning four, losing four and drawing six.
“Captaining your country is probably the pinnacle of everybody’s ambition,” he said.
Cricketing legends across the globe have largely reacted positively to Amla’s decision, calling it a bold and admirable decision.
Author: Staff Writer