Proteas batsman, Hashim Amla has announced his decision to step down as vice-captain of the Castle Lager Proteas’ ODI and Blue Label Telecoms T20 squads. The decision follows Amla’s reluctance to take over the captaincy from AB de Villiers during the Momentum ODI Series against New Zealand, where he requested some time to focus on his batting.
“It is unfair of me to wear the vice-captaincy cap if I am uncomfortable of taking over from AB when I am needed,” Amla said. “ Captaincy has always been an exploratory area of my cricket but after being at the helm for three ODI’s and a few T20’s I feel it’s time to groom a successor who has leadership potential.
“It has been a privilege to lead my country on the occasions that I have been captain, but I look forward to contributing to the team as a batsman. I will continue to play my part as an advisor in the team and will remain active on the field as a senior player.”
Amla was appointed in June 2011 and has since captained the Proteas in two T20’s and three ODI’s against Australia, as well as five unofficial T20’s against Zimbabwe in de Villiers' absence.
He also further explained his decision to make himself unavailable for the Blue Label Telecoms T20 squad for the rest of the year.
“I’ve requested to take a sabbatical from International T20 cricket for the year.” said Amla, who last played a T20I for South Africa at the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year.
"My decision was influenced by the hectic international schedule and this will give me more room to manage my time between the formats more constructively. T20 cricket remains a format that I enjoy, and I hope I can make meaningful contributions domestically when I have the opportunity while continuing to harness my T20 game. I still have hopes of playing for South Africa in the future and will re-visit the decision at a later stage.”
The Selectors have yet to name a replacement for the post.