JOHANNESBURG: South Africa has appointed batsman Hashim Amla as its new test cricket captain, succeeding longtime leader Graeme Smith who retired in March.
Cricket South Africa named Amla on Tuesday ahead of wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers, who appeared to be the front-runner to replace Smith.
The 31-year-old Amla has previously shied away from the captaincy role when approached to do the job in limited-overs cricket but had a change of heart after Smith's retirement.
Amla said in a statement: "I have concentrated on taking my batting to the highest possible level and now I feel I am in a position to make a contribution to South African cricket in a leadership role."
Smith announced his retirement in March after more than a decade in charge of the Test team.