Amla set to lead SA on home soil

Spo(r)t on by Mogan Segadavan


WHEN the Aussies land on our shores later this month Hashim Amla will make history when he becomes the first black cricketer to lead the Proteas on home soil.
Amla will lead the two limited-overs teams following the injury to AB de Villiers who cracked bones in his left hand while practising with the Royal Chargers Bangalore and was forced to withdraw from the Champions League currently taking place in India.
 He is hoping to be fit for the first test match against Australia at Newlands on November 9.
Amla will be playing his 50th ODI when he leads the Proteas against the Aussies. While he has an excellent ODI average of 57.25 he has played in only three T20 matches.
According to reports Amla is a “reluctant leader” and declined the position on previous occasions. Followers of the game will hardly blame him (for declining the captaincy).
There was a time when everybody who claimed to know anything about the game were questioning his ability and place in the team.
To his credit Amla knuckled down and proved all his critics wrong and on current form is worth his place in the team ahead of even Graeme Smith in both tests and ODIs.
Then of course there is the saga of Ashwell Prince who made history in 2006 when he became the first black cricketer to lead the Proteas test team but his tenure was short-lived
Prince led the team in two tests against Sri Lanka, losing both matches. Surprisingly he was replaced by Mark Boucher in the ODI series which followed the tests.
More controversy was to follow in Australia when Prince was appointed as captain and opener for the third test after Smith was injured. But the very next day Jacques Kallis was appointed in his place. The official story is Prince, who had been out of the side for five tests said he would not do the job, because he was not happy about opening the batting.
As the controversy boiled over Graeme Smith is reported to have said: “It is disappointing, but the saddest thing is that during times like these, you need cool heads.
“We’ve tried to create that culture in the team and, as a team, I thought we had. From inside the team, we try to deal with the facts and move on.”
Cricket SA CEO Gerald Majola was the only person authorised to speak about the controversy since the test and he contradicted selection convenor Mike Procter’s claim that Prince was chosen as a captain first and a player second.
There are also unanswered questions about Prince’s decision to relocate to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth where he was born and bred.
For all the answers wait for Prince’s memoirs when he retires.

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