‘Great privilege’ – Du Plessis steps down as South Africa captain

Faf Du Plessis has stepped down as South Africa’s Test and Twenty20 captain, after handing the ODI reins to Quinton De Kock last month.

The 35-year-old skippered the Proteas in 112 international matches since taking on the role in 2012, scoring 5,101 runs including 11 centuries.

He said: “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.

“It has been a rewarding, sometimes tough and other times a lonely road, but I would not replace the experience for anything, because it has made me the man that I am proud to be today.

“When I took over the leadership, I did so with the commitment to lead, perform and most importantly, to serve.

“As the team heads into a new direction with new leaders and a young crop of players, I feel it will be in the best interests of South African cricket to relinquish the captaincy in all formats.

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“This was one of the toughest decisions to make, but I remain fully committed to supporting Quinton, Mark (Boucher) and my team-mates as we continue to rebuild and re-align as a group.

“I have strived to lead the team with dignity and authenticity during exhilarating highs and devastating lows. I have given my everything during my tenure.

“I have never been one to throw in the towel and do believe I am putting the team first and believe we have to stick through the tough times to get to the good times.”