Amla has not enjoyed his time as vice-captain at all
South Africa batsman Hashim Amla is highly likely to step down as the vice-captain of the limited overs squad after it was revealed that he declined a request from Cricket South Africa to lead the national team in their recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand when regular skipper AB de Villiers was banned for two matches due to a slow over rate.
When Amla was asked to cover for de Villiers, he told the board that he would like to “concentrate on his batting” and batsman Faf du Plessis was instead called upon to lead the side.
Just prior to the start of the home series against Pakistan, Amla hinted that he may consider giving up his vice-captaincy position altogether.
“It’s something I am considering – stepping down,” Amla said. “There is no point in me being vice-captain if I’m not going to captain when the captain isn’t around. We will make that decision soon.”
South Africa convener of selectors Andrew Hudson noted that there was no point in making Amla hold on to the vice-captaincy position if he was not willing to step up when de Villiers is not available.
He noted that the situation would be resolved when the new national contracts are handed out later this month.
“We did ask Hashim to captain in the one-day series against New Zealand and he declined,” Hudson told ESPNcricinfo. “He said he wanted to concentrate on his batting. We will take this into account going forward.
“He may end up relinquishing the role. Having a vice-captain who is not available when he needs to captain defeats the objective. Hashim is happy to play a supporting role but perhaps not in an official capacity. We will consider this when the contracts come up for renewal. We have no doubt he will continue to contribute but maybe not as vice-captain.”
Amla was appointed as vice-captain in July 2011 when coach Gary Kirsten took over, but right from the start it was clearly visible that the flamboyant batsman was reluctant to hold on to the position for a long time.
Last year, Amla had to lead South Africa in five matches since de Villiers was injured and this had a detrimental impact on his own performance.
Amla himself had admitted that he did not enjoy the experience of being captain and was more than happy to give the captaincy title back to de Villiers when he returned.
Despite his bad experience as captain, Amla agreed to take an experimental squad to play in an unofficial Twenty20 tri-series in Zimbabwe.
Under Amla’s captaincy, the Proteas lost in the finals to the hosts and that was the last time the batsman ever led the national team.
Du Plessis has already taken over the Twenty20 captaincy and Hudson hinted that it may only be a matter of time before he is made ODI captain as well.
“We need to look at each format having an established captain and vice-captain,” he said.