sport

Amla quits as SA vice-captain

Hashim Amla has stepped down as vice-captain of South Africa's one-day and Twenty20 teams.

The vice-captaincy decision follows Amla's reluctance to take over the leadership role from AB de Villiers during the ODI series against New Zealand, where he requested some time to focus on his batting.

"It is unfair of me to wear the vice-captaincy cap if I am uncomfortable taking over from AB when I am needed," Amla said in a statement issued via Cricket South Africa.

"Captaincy has always been an exploratory area of my cricket but, after being at the helm for three ODIs and a few T20s, I feel it's time to groom a successor who has leadership potential."

Amla was appointed in June 2011 and has since led the Proteas in two T20s and three ODIs against Australia, as well as five unofficial T20s against Zimbabwe in De Villiers' absence.

"It has been a privilege to lead my country on the occasions that I have been captain, but I look forward to contributing to the team as a batsman," Amla said.

"I will continue to play my part as an advisor in the team and will remain active on the field as a senior player."

Amla has also made himself unavailable for the Twenty20 squad for the remainder of 2013.

"I've requested to take a sabbatical from international T20 cricket for the year," said the 29-year-old, who last played a T20 international at last year's ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

"My decision was influenced by the hectic international schedule and this will give me more room to manage my time between the formats more constructively. T20 cricket remains a format that I enjoy, and I hope I can make meaningful contributions domestically when I have the opportunity while continuing to harness my T20 game," he added.

"I still have hopes of playing for South Africa in the future and will revisit the decision at a later stage."