Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Faf du Plessis quits as captain 'in best interests of South African cricket'

Batsman, 35, relinquishes captaincy across all three formats

Faf du Plessis, right, has stood down as South Africa cricket captain across all formats. AFP
Faf du Plessis, right, has stood down as South Africa cricket captain across all formats. AFP

Faf du Plessis has quit as South Africa cricket captain across all three formats, though Cricket South Africa (CSA) say he remains available for selection.

Du Plessis said he was stepping aside to allow a new generation of Proteas step up to the plate.

Du Plessis was rested for the recent one-day international and Twenty20 series against England, where South Africa were led by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

"As the team heads into a new direction with new leaders and a young crop of players, I feel it will be in the best interests of South African cricket to relinquish the captaincy in all formats," Du Plessis said.

"This was one of the toughest decisions to make, but I remain fully committed to supporting Quinton," he added.

Du Plessis added that he was not looking beyond the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in October.

He has come under increasing pressure in recent months after a disappointing 50-over World Cup in England last year was followed by a Test series thrashing in India and a 3-1 home loss to England in January.

The 35-year-old has been in poor form with the bat, averaging just 20.92 in his last 14 Test innings, which has led to his place in the side being scrutinised.

"After the 2019 ICC World Cup, I made the decision to continue in my role as captain while the team went through a rebuilding phase," Du Plessis continued.

"It was important to me that I stayed to help the team find its feet and plot a new way forward, while assisting in identifying the next generation of leaders within the players’ group during a time of turbulence in SA cricket."

South Africa are set to name their squad for the three-match T20 series at home against Australia that starts on Friday later on Monday.

Updated: February 17, 2020 12:58 PM

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