Hashim Amla appointed new South African Test captain
Johannesburg: Senior batsman Hashim Amla was on Tuesday named captain of South Africa`s Test team, succeeding Graeme Smith, despite speculation that his refusal to endorse the beer brand, which sponsors the team, could be a hurdle in his appointment.
Amla, a devout Muslim, has had special permission not to wear the beer brand logo on his kit because his religion prohibits alcohol.
He is the first Indian-origin South African to lead the national side after it was readmitted to international cricket following decades of white-only teams in the apartheid era.
Amla`s first task 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 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, widely touted as the next captain if Amla`s alcohol position became an issue, 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," said 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 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, 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," Lorgat added.
Amla said: "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," said the 31-year-old.
Amla has scored 6214 runs in 76 Tests at an average of 51.35 and 4054 in 85 ODIs at 53.34.
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