Cricket news round-up – February 18: Faf du Plessis resigns as Test and T20I captain of South Africa

Cricket news round-up – February 18: Faf du Plessis resigns as Test and T20I captain of South Africa

Faf du Plessis India South Africa

Faf du Plessis resigned from the captaincy of South Africa cricket team across all formats. Kagiso Rabada made comeback to the T20I squad against Australia. Kings XI Punjab bought St Lucia Zouks.

Faf du Plessis steps down from captaincy

Faf du Plessis decided to step down from the captaincy of the South African team across all formats. Quinton de Kock was already appointed as the ODI captain ahead of the England series and was handed over the T20I captaincy as well when du Plessis was rested. Du Plessis was continuing as the captain of the South African team in the Test and T20I format but resigned from the same on January 17.

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,”

Faf du Plessis became the full-time T20I captain of South Africa in 2013 and then after four years was handed over the Test captaincy. He remains the only Proteas captain to win a home and away series against Australia in both Tests and ODIs. Du Plessis will be available for selection in all three formats as stated in the press release, “South African cricket has entered a new era. New leadership, new faces, new challenges and new strategies. I remain committed to play in all three formats of the game for now as a player and will offer my knowledge and time to the new leaders of the team.”

New Zealand squad for Test series against India announced

New Zealand announced their squad for the Test series against India and Kyle Jamieson earned the maiden Test cap. Trent Boult was also included to the squad after recovering from the injuries. Mitchell Santner lost his spot as Ajaz Patel made entry. Jeet Raval and Matt Henry also failed to make to the squad due to unimpressive performance down under. The two-match Test series against India will begin on February 21 at the Basin Reseve in Wellington. The next match is scheduled to be held in Christchurch from February 29.

Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell.

South Africa announce T20I squad against Australia

On Monday Cricket South Africa announced their T20I side for the three-match T20I series against Australia. Along with former captain Faf du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada made comebacks. Anrich Nortje also returned to the squad with Reeza Hendricks, Beuran Hendrick, and Sisanda Magala. Temba Bavuma had left the final T20I against England following a hamstring injury. Although he was named in the squad, his availability will depend upon the scan reports. The three-match T20I series will begin on February 21 in Johannesburg.

Linda Zondi said, “As a selection panel, we are happy with the team that we have finalised for the Australia tour. We are confident that the return of Kagiso (Rabada) and Anrich (Nortje) will provide the boost that the bowling unit needs in order to return to its dangerous ways and that the experience of Faf (du Plessis) will add an extra dimension to the batting unit's already fledgling prowess.”

Squad: Quinton de Kock (c/wk), Temba Bavuma (subject to fitness) Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen

KXIP purchase St Lucia Zouks

The owners of Kings XI Punjab purchased the Caribbean Premier League team St Lucia Zouks. KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited became the second group after Red Chillies Entertainment to own a CPL team along with an IPL one. Red Chillies Entertainment own both the Knight Riders franchise in Kolkata and Trinbago.

Mohit Buran, the co-owner of the KXIP said, “We are excited at the opportunity to invest in one of the most exciting sporting tournaments in the world, and we have been impressed by the vibrancy of CPL over the last seven years. We visualise taking the franchise to the next level and showcasing St Lucia in the best possible light over the coming years.”