Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Cricket South Africa have appointed AB de Villiers as Test captain on a permanent basis.
De Villiers was handed the reins midway through the recent Test series against England as Hashim Amla stepped down after the second Test in Cape Town.
Despite starting his reign as captain with a loss in the third Test in Johannesburg, de Villiers earned his first victory as skipper in the fourth and final Test in Centurion.
With a few other suitable candidates, Cricket South Africa confirmed that de Villiers would lead the Proteas’ Test squad on a permanent basis during a board meeting on Friday.
“This is an exciting time for South African cricket, and I am honoured to have been asked to captain the Test team into a new era,” de Villiers said. “I thoroughly enjoyed captaining in the last two Tests against England – and although I still have a lot to learn in this role, it’s a new challenge that I’m excited to take on.”
Despite losing the Test series to England 2-1 and being dethroned as the top-ranked Test team in the world, de Villiers, who also captains the country’s ODI squad, believes that South Africa cricket has a bright future.
“I have been privileged to play in several outstanding Proteas teams over the past 11 seasons, and I believe we are witnessing the emergence of another great team,” he said. “There is plenty of hard work ahead of us; we are rebuilding and have a long way to go to being a finished product as a squad.
“We may have to fight through some tough times. But the recent performances of Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma, Dane Piedt, Dean Elgar and others have created an opportunity to build a team that delights and unites our country as never before.
“I could not be more excited about the future. I am fully committed to the Proteas – but more than anything, I am grateful for the support from my team-mates, Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the people of our rainbow nation.”
Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat believes that de Villiers is the right man to be leading the country’s Test team and added that he is confident that the 31-year-old will lead the Proteas back to the top of the Test team rankings.
“AB is a class cricketer and a special person, and the board is delighted that he has taken on the responsibility to lead the Proteas Test team during this crucial phase of guiding new players and rebuilding the team to once again be the best in the world,” Lorgat said. “AB’s commitment to the Proteas and international cricket is a lesson for many other cricketers, and the board was unanimous in appointing him to take charge of the team.”