Monday , September 25 2023

Captain axed in historic Proteas shake-up

Dean Elgar was removed as South Africa Test captain and replaced by Temba Bavuma in a leadership “restructure” under new coach Shukri Conrad, Cricket South Africa said.

The change will come into effect immediately, with Bavuma appointed to lead the team in a two Test home series against West Indies starting later this month. Bavuma becomes the first black African captain of South Africa’s Test cricket team.

Opening batter Elgar will remain available as a player for the series, CSA said.

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“The call was clearly in terms of the new direction we are going as a team, as a system, and we all felt that the change in the leadership was needed,” South Africa director of cricket Enoch Nkwe said.

Bavuma was appointed South Africa’s limited overs captain at the same time that Elgar was given the Test captaincy in March 2021.

Bavuma will retain the ODI captain’s job but give up the Twenty20 role, with a new T20 captain to be announced later.

Elgar was a popular choice as Test captain but the team has lost back-to-back series in England and Australia under his leadership.

Still, the move was unexpected and part of changes made by the newly appointed pair of Conrad and Nkwe.

CSA also said that head selector Victor Mpitsang had been removed from his role.

Bavuma brilliance sinks Warner

Batter Tony de Zorzi earned his first call-up to the South Africa squad for the series against West Indies, while batter Aiden Markram and allrounder Senuran Muthusamy were recalled.

Batter Rassie van der Dussen, one of the Proteas’ form players over the last few years, was surprisingly left out of the squad.

The first Test starts at Centurion on February 28.

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