JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 – AB de Villiers has been appointed as the full-time captain of South Africa’s test team, ending speculation he could retire from the longest format of the game to ease his workload.
Cricket South Africa made the announcement on Friday after De Villiers was appointed for the final two tests of the recently completed series against England on a temporary basis following the resignation of Hashim Amla.
De Villiers, also captain of the one-day international side who take on England in a five-match series starting on Wednesday, believes his team can regain their number one test status after losing the test series against England 2-1.
“I am honoured to have been asked to captain the test team into a new era,” the 31-year-old said in a CSA statement.
“I thoroughly enjoyed captaining in the last two tests against England and although I still have a lot to learn in this role it’s a new challenge that I’m excited to take on.
“I believe we are witnessing the emergence of another great team. There is plenty of hard work ahead of us; we are rebuilding and have a long way to go to being a finished product as a squad.”
De Villiers had expressed doubts about his test future during the England series, refusing to commit himself to the team beyond this month.
He was one of seven players handed two-year contracts on Friday following a board meeting of CSA.
The others were batsmen Amla, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis, and bowlers Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.
Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien and Rilee Rossouw were all awarded one-year national contracts for the first time.
South Africa’s next test series is at home to New Zealand in August.
(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)