Zondi was 'shocked' by Amla exit

2016-01-11 14:02
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Hashim Amla's decision to step down as Test captain shocked most people - including convener of selectors Linda Zondi. 

The announcement came immediately after the drawn second Test against England at Newlands, and it was revealed then that AB de Villiers would captain the side for the final two Tests in Johannesburg and Pretoria. 

The De Villiers call is seen, for the moment, as a short-term option despite the fact that there appear to be few other candidates for the role. 

"We were all shocked … when I heard the news I was shocked, as was the whole panel," Zondi told Sport24.

"I think that Hash is the kind of guy when he makes a decision his mind is made up. He’s a team man. He’s made a decision based on himself, but looking at the team as well.

"I know Hash by the caliber of the person he is that he will definitely support AB de Villiers."

Zondi said the decision to appoint De Villiers was one that made sense.

"We all know that AB was one of the guys when we were discussing … we had three leaders – AB, Hashim and Faf (Du Plessis)," said Zondi.

"It’s an automatic decision for now to give it to one of the senior guys and one of the guys who is a premium player for the side. We all believe that AB can take us through the next two crucial matches."

On the surface such a crucial change at such a crucial time in a set series may not seem ideal, but Zondi has no such concerns.

"The transition between Hash and AB might look from the outside like it would destabilise things, but I don’t think so," he said.

"For me we are fortunate at the moment that we have three senior players and all of them are leaders in their own right."

With South Africa only playing Test cricket again in August (home to New Zealand) after this England series there is no great rush to appoint a long-term replacement for Amla, but Zondi does not want to leave it too long.

"We don’t have a time frame at all. After this we have Australia and then after that we have the World Cup T20. It is always better, for me, to make these decisions sooner," said Zondi.

"Whoever is going to take over needs to comfortable and needs to be given time to think about it and make their own plans moving forward.

"Our goal at the moment is to make sure that with AB we win the next two matches, and then after that we will sit as a panel and we will discuss who is going to be the permanent captain from there."

The Proteas go into the third Test match in Johannesburg on Thursday 1-0 down in the series. 

Read more on:    proteas  |  hashim amla  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket

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