Hashim Amla on Sunday rubbished suggestion that he had turned down the limited-overs captaincy, leaving Cricket South Africa to appoint AB de Villiers to the helm.
CSA last week announced de Villiers as the new ODI and Twenty20 International skipper, with Amla his second in command across both formats, while Graeme Smith stayed on as Test skipper and Gary Kirsten took over from Corrie van Zyl as coach.
The 28-year-old Amla, through some prolific form in 2010, was awarded the prestigious SA Cricketer of the Year accolade and was largely tipped to take over from Smith, who threw in the one-dayer captaincy earlier this year.
The modest right-hander, however, insisted he was never offered the post and that his role as mere understudy to de Villiers was the correct decision.
“It is not true that was I asked to be captain and declined the position. I gave up the captaincy of (provincial side) Dolphins because I wanted to concentrate on my batting and that is also my plan in the national side,” he told Rapport.
“Naturally the media speculation about the next captain after Graeme’s announcement left me wondering whether I wanted that responsibility, but I am happy to rather be the vice-captain,”
“De Villiers was a better candidate because I don’t believe I would have been the right guy for it, since it is a huge responsibility.
“I prefer as far as possible to stay out of the limelight and that’s why the vice-captain position suits me better.”
De Villiers, meanwhile, is looking forward to gelling with former South Africa batsman Kirsten, who took up the role as new Proteas coach after leading India to glory in the World Cup earlier this year.
“The passion, pride and fighting spirit he had in his playing days, he’s shown the same qualities as a coach, especially at the World Cup. I hope I’ll be able to help bring those into our side too. I’d like to be the same, showing resilience,” said de Villiers.
“I think we’ll complement each other a lot, Gary’s just a wonderful coach and a top-class human being.”
The Proteas’ next commitment is two T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests at home to Australia in mid-October through late November, followed by Sri Lanka’s visit for three three Tests and five one-dayers. Cricket365