AB de Villiers has been confirmed as South Africa’s Test captain after taking the role on an interim basis during the recent series against England.
De Villiers took over midway through the Proteas’ 2-1 defeat after Hashim Amla made a surprise resignation in the press conference after the drawn second Test in Cape Town.
De Villiers himself expressed some doubt as to whether he would like to keep the job beyond the series, citing burnout, but it was announced after a Cricket South Africa board meeting today that the 31-year-old had accepted an offer to take permanent charge.
“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.”
South Africa were knocked off the top of the world Test rankings following defeat to England and De Villiers admitted his team were now in a “re-building” phase.
But he hinted the chance to oversee the emergence of players such as 20-year-old seamer Kagiso Rabada – who became the youngest South African to claim a Test 10-wicket haul at Centurion – had helped convince him to take over.
“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,” De Villiers added.
“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.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 29, 2016
“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.”
CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat is confident the right captain has been chosen.
“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,” he 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.”
De Villiers will captain South africa during the upcoming one-day international series against England, which begins in Bloemfontein on February 3.