Proteas

Amla: I wasn't pushed into captaincy

Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - There was naturally a massive void left in South African cricket when Graeme Smith played his last Test for the Proteas in March 2014. 

The man who had captained his country for over a decade needed to be replaced. 

Initially, it appeared that one of AB de Villiers or Faf Du Plessis would get the gig. 

But, instead, Cricket South Africa (CSA) appointed Hashim Amla as Test captain. 

READ: WHY AMLA STEPPED DOWN NOW

It was a decision that shocked given Amla's tranquil approach to the game, but it was not one that anybody could argue with. 

Still, there have always been mumblings that Amla never felt truly comfortable at the helm, and some have gone so far as to suggest that he was "pushed" into the captaincy by those at the top of the country's cricketing ladder. 

But the 32-year-old on Wednesday firmly denied that was the case just minutes after announcing his immediate resignation as Proteas Test captain.

"It was always my decision. In life I’ve learnt that if you’re going to do something you have to do something that you enjoy," he said.

"I’ve always enjoyed captaincy. It was certainly my own choice. When Graeme (Smith) had stepped down a year and a half ago it gave an opportunity for me to explore captaincy again.

"I thought at that time I could add value and I would like to believe that, to the team members that I have played with, I have added value. I’m really surprised that some people have suggested that it was not my decision."

CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat also denied that there had been any boardroom pressure placed on Amla before his captaincy was announced in June 2014.

"I would never influence or force somebody to do something against his or her will, I think that doesn't set the right platform," said Lorgat.

"I was personally responsible for speaking to each of candidates that we believed were capable of leaving ... each of them were very willing and capable."

Amla's captained the Proteas in 14 Tests - winning four, losing four and drawing six. 

"Captaining your country is probably the pinnacle of everybody’s ambition," he said.

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