Wednesday 28 September 2016

Amla quits mid-series as England cling on for draw

Cricket

Rory Dollard

Published 07/01/2016 | 02:30

Hashim Amla has announced his resignation as South Africa cricket captain. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.
Hashim Amla has announced his resignation as South Africa cricket captain. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

Hashim Amla resigned as South Africa captain after drawing the second Test against England and promised a smooth transition to his immediate replacement AB de Villiers.

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Amla intends to focus on his batting, which had been in the doldrums throughout 2015, but he bows out having just scored a double century.

The 32-year-old became his country's first non-white Test skipper in mid-2014 after the retirement of long-term incumbent Graeme Smith and leaves having overseen four wins, four losses and six draws.

But a winless run spanning eight matches represents a new and unwanted record.

There was no sense of turmoil in the Proteas camp, despite the shock announcement shortly after play wrapped up at Newlands - South Africa were in sight of victory when they reduced England to 116-6 before Johnny Bairstow and Moeen Ali dug in and then rain frustrated the home side.

Instead, Amla stepped down with the dignity that has typified his career and offered his wholehearted backing to De Villiers, who will see out the series before a permanent decision is made.

"This decision was not an easy one but I felt I needed to be true to myself," he said. "I gave it my best shot. But I feel there is a greater need to work on my own game, thus giving me the opportunity to continue contributing as a batsman."

Irish Independent

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