South African captain Faf du Plessis steps down


FILE PHOTO: Faf du Plessis
FILE PHOTO: Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis, 35, has stepped down as South Africa Test and Twenty20 captain, after leading the team in 112 matches across all formats since 2012.

He made his international debut for South Africa in 2011. Quinton de Kock replaced Du Plessis as one-day captain in January 2019.

“It has been the greatest honour of my life to lead my country,” he said.

“South African cricket has entered a new era. New leadership, new faces, new challenges and new strategies. I remain committed to playing 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,” he added.

Du Plessis was rested for both the recent one-day international and T20 series against England.

Du Plessis scored 115 runs at an average of 16.42 in the Test series against England and has not made a century for more than a year.

His announcement came just eight months before the Twenty20 World Cup, which runs from 18 October to 15 November.

“The last few weeks of rest away from the game have given me a lot of perspective on the great privilege and honour I have had in representing and leading my country in the three formats of this wonderful game,” Faf du Plessis said in a statement.

After first captaining South Africa in a T20 series against New Zealand in 2012, Du Plessis was named permanent T20 skipper in 2013. In 2017, he assumed the full-time captaincy of all three formats, replacing AB de Villiers.

Du Plessis played 65 test matches and scored 3,901 runs with an average of 39.80. He made 5,507 from 143 ODIs, with the best score of 185. He got 1,363 runs from 44 T20I.