A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Hashim Amla steps down as T20 vice-captain and refuses to play format for rest of 2013

Amla was reluctant about the vice captaincy immediately after being given the position in 2011

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has decided to step down as vice-captain of the Twenty20 squad and has requested not to play any more of the format for the rest of the year.

Amla told the team management of his decision in December and coach Gary Kirsten confirmed that Amla’s requested had been granted.

Amla’s decision to stand down came days after South Africa appointed Faf Du Plessis as the new captain of the Twenty20 squad since his predecessor AB de Villiers had also asked to step down from a leadership position in the format due to his increased workload.

“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 ODIs and a few T20s 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 also noted that there was “no point” in holding on to a leadership position when he doesn’t have the slightest interest in taking over when the regular captain is unable to¬†fulfill¬†his duties.

Amla was named vice-captain in July 2011, but has since done his job rather reluctantly.

The opening batsman revealed that his decision to take a break from Twenty20 cricket had been “influenced by the hectic international schedule”.

“I’ve requested to take a sabbatical from International T20 cricket for the year,” Amla said. “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.”

Amla also requested to stop playing Twenty20 cricket for the year in order to dedicate more of his time to Test cricket.

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