South Africa captain and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) star Faf du Plessis has in an official statement announced that he will step down as captain from the Test and T20 sides with immediate effect. The decision comes after questions were raised on Du Plessis’ leadership of the Proteas and the need to integrate new generation leaders into the setup. Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock will take over the captaincy in the Test and T20 formats for South Africa.
Faf du Plessis released an official statement of him stepping down from the role of captain of the South African sides shortly after Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced it on their official Twitter account. The 35-year-old took to Instagram to release the full statement and thanked the fans for their support. Du Plessis said that it had been a privilege to lead South Arica in all three formats of the game and said that the rest from the England T20Is gave the CSK star some perspective.
He said that his journey was rewarding and testing at times but will never replace the experience for anything because it is what made him the man he is today despite the being 'on a lonely road' at times. The 'lonely road' might be a subtle dig at CSA's leadership, which has been criticized by the likes of AB de Villiers and Vernon Philander in the past. Both of them are amongst the few South African cricketers who hastened their international retirements due to lack of support from the top brass or financial issues that the board is facing.
In a Cricket South Africa statement, CSK star Faf du Plessis said that he would like to focus on contributing to the team as a batsman and senior player and offer guidance and advice to the new leadership group as part of their succession planning. Du Plessis added that it would be in the best interests of the team if steps down as captain as the team heads into a new generation of leaders and a younger crop of players. The CSK opener added that relinquishing captaincy was one of the hardest decisions for him but will remain fully committed to supporting new captain Quinton de Kock, Mark Boucher and his teammates as the team continues to rebuild and re-align as a group.
Faf du Plessis took over as captain of the South African Test team in 2016 and the all formats of the game in 2017 after former teammate AB de Villiers stepped down from the respective roles. The CSK star captained South Africa in 35 Tests, winning 18 of those, the third-most in the history of South African cricket. In 37 T20Is under Faf Du Plessis’ leadership, South Africa won 23, which is the most wins by a South African skipper. Faf Du Plessis will feature in the upcoming IPL 2020 and will look to add another IPL trophy to his kitty.