Amla to captain Proteas' Test team

New Proteas Test cricket captain Hashim Amla. (Gallo)

New Proteas Test cricket captain Hashim Amla. (Gallo)

South African star batsman Hashim Alma was named the country’s Test cricket captain on Tuesday, replacing retiring Graeme Smith who led the side for a decade.

A “glad and humbled” Amla said he would give “all his heart” to the role.

Amla (31), who made his test debut against India in Kolkata 10 years ago, praised the work done by his predecessor, whose legacy looms large. Smith had captained South Africa in a world-record 109 Tests before announcing his retirement during the third and final Test against Australia last March.

Selectors said his replacement had been seen as a choice between three world class batsmen, Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis.

But it was Amla, a devout Muslim who has often shied away from the public eye, who won out.

Amla captained the South African team at the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2002 and was appointed captain of the Dolphins franchise early in his first-class career.

He resigned as captain after one season to concentrate on his batting.

Amla was appointed De Villiers’s vice-captain of the South African ODI team in 2011 and led the side in three matches, but gave up the job last year. Amla was reappointed to that position on Tuesday.

Amla’s first assignment will be to lead South Africa in two Tests in Sri Lanka during July.

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