AB De Villiers has been appointed the full-time skipper of the South African Test side following weeks of speculation that his career in the longest format of the game might be nearing a close.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed the news of AB’s appointment on their official site on Friday. De Villiers was handed the interim skippers job following Hashim Amla stepping down from the post following the second Test against England. Following his side’s rejuvenation against the Three Lions in the final Test of the 4 match bout, De Villiers welcomed the chance to continue skipper of the team for the long term future.
“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. 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.
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. 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 and the people of our rainbow nation”
De Villiers is also captain of the South African ODI side, and has also previously led his side in the shortest version of the game, the T20 format. CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat expressed delight at AB’s decision and believes it can benefit the Proteans in the near future.
“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.
AB’s commitment to the Proteas and international cricket is a lesson for many other cricketers and the Board was unanimous in appointing AB to take charge of the team.Having known AB since he started his international career, I am confident that he will lead by example and display the brilliance and passion that he is so blessed with”
After a disappointing defeat in his first game as skipper, De Villiers led his side to a memorable win in the final game. The Proteans ended up losing the series 2-1 to England, but ended the 4 match bout on a high.