In a disheartening news for the champion’s fans, Faf du Plessis, the South African Captain has stepped down from captaincy of South Africa’s Test and T20I sides with immediate effect. A tweet shared by Cricket South Africa on their twitter handle confirmed the news of Faf’s decision of relinquishing the captaincy.
The tweet reads- “Faf du Plessis has announced that he is stepping down from his role as captain of the Proteas’ Test and T20 teams effective immediately.”
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 17, 2020
Faf, who was earlier planning to lead the team in the upcoming World T20, cited the need of grooming next generation of leaders in the team as the reason for stepping down. However, du Plessis has also made himself available for all three formats for the time being.
“This was one of the toughest decisions to make, but I remain fully committed to supporting Quinton, Mark [Boucher] and my team-mates as we continue to rebuild and re-align as a group,” quoted du Plessis as per a Cricket South Africa (CSA) release.
Du Plessis also backed the stand-in captain Quinton de Kock to come good for the role and take the team forward under the watchful eyes of Graeme Smith, the South Africa’s director of cricket, and Du Plessis himself. Faf said, “South African cricket has entered a new era. New leadership, new faces, new challenges and new strategies. I remain committed to play in all three formats of the game for now as a player, and will offer my knowledge and time to the new leaders of the team.”
Du Plessis also expressed his desire to lead the team in World T20 and Tests one more year but the South African respecting the demands of time, has decided to hand over the reins to the next generation.
“I have strived to lead the team with dignity and authenticity during exhilarating highs and devastating lows. I have given my everything during my tenure. I have never been one to throw in the towel and do believe I am putting the team first and believe we have to stick through the tough times to get to the good times. In a perfect world I would have loved to lead the team in the Tests for the rest of the season as well as the T20 World Cup, but sometimes the most important attribute of a leader is to be selfless. I am healthy, fit, energised and motivated and certainly see myself playing an important role in the squad for as long as I continue putting in winning performances for the team,“ added Faf.
Du Plessis has been one of the most successful that have led South Africa especially in white ball cricket. He did not have a great record in 36 Tests (18 wins and 15 loses) he captained. But in the white-ball formats, he has outstanding numbers winning 28 out of 39 ODIs and 23 out of 37 T20Is matches as captain of the team.