CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA (CSA) today announced the appointment of Hashim Amla as captain of the Castle Lager Proteas Test match squad in succession to Graeme Smith.
His first assignment will be to lead the Proteas to Sri Lanka next month for a two-match series.
He is the fifth Protea to be appointed captain of the Proteas after Kepler Wessels (1992), Hansie Cronje (1994), Shaun Pollock (2000) and Smith (2003) although Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince have also done the job in a stand-in capacity.
AB de Villiers has been appointed vice-captain of the Test squad. He also remains captain of the ODI squad with Amla as his deputy.
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Hashim on his appointment,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, following the unanimous decision taken by the Board of Directors earlier today to accept the unanimous recommendation of the national selectors.
“It is a reflection of the excellence and standing of our senior players that there was more than one quality candidate to consider for this most important leadership position. Hashim is universally respected, both in South Africa and around the cricketing world, not only for his quality as a player which has seen him ranked among the best batsmen in the world in both Test and ODI cricket, but also for his personal qualities.
“He has shown his steel in playing in the key No. 3 batting position, one which he took over from Jacques Kallis with great success. The manner in which he has adapted his game to suit the different forms of cricket speaks volumes for his skills to react to changing circumstances. He has earned particular respect as a role model for his humility and his upholding of the best traditions and spirit of the game. Becoming captain is a natural progression for his outstanding career and we are indeed fortunate to have a leader of his quality.
“Stability has been one of the endearing qualities he has brought to the Proteas and this is important at a time when we have had to replace several key players in Smith, Kallis and Boucher.”
Hashim Amla commented: “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.”