hashim amla
Hashim Amla [R] scored a double century for South Africa in the second Test match against EnglandReuters

Hashim Amla has stepped down as the Test skipper of the South Africa cricket team.

The news comes just after the end of South Africa's second Test match against England at Newlands in Cape Town, which turned out to be a draw. Amla scored 201 runs off 477 balls for the Proteas in the first innings of the match.

The 32-year-old Proteas star batsman had replaced Graeme Smith as the national team's skipper in the middle of 2014.

"This decision was not easy but I felt I needed to do it. I have given my best at all times but feel there's a greater need to work on my own game," Amla said on Wednesday. "To be captain is the pinnacle of any sportsman and I am extremely grateful to have captained this great team.

"I believe there is a great deal I can still offer the team and look forward to contributing towards their success.

"Naturally this decision is not an easy one but the more I think about it the more I believe I can be of greater value to the Proteas as a fully focused batsman and senior player at this time of rebuilding our team.

"I am deeply grateful and privileged to have been the Test captain and I wish to thank CSA for the honour of captaining my country. It was enjoyable and indeed a great learning experience," the right-handed batsman explained.

Amla will be replaced by AB de Villiers as the South Africa Test team captain for the remainder of the series agsinst England.

"I've said this before that it is an incredible honour to captain South Africa in any format. The captaincy has obviously come at short notice and is the realisation of a lifelong dream," said De Villiers.

"At the moment my priority and focus is placed on leading this team to what can be a memorable series win against England.

"This Test squad is motivated and determined to turn our performances around and I'm looking forward to taking up that challenge as captain. Hashim is a good friend and close colleague and I am grateful for his support."

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