16 Jul 2014

Amla leads Proteas into new Test era

11:38 am on 16 July 2014

South African cricket entered a new era under captain Hashim Amla when the country's first permanent non-white skipper led the side out for their first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Top order batsman Amla replaces the colossus Graeme Smith, who led the side for a decade and took them to the number one Test ranking in world cricket, a status they only recently lost to Australia.

In contrast to the bullish Smith, Amla, a devout Muslim, has a quiet demeanour, and he's appeared at times to have shied away from leadership positions in limited-overs formats in recent years.

The 31-year-old takes over the captaincy of a side which, apart from Smith, has recently lost all rounder Jacques Kallis and wicketkeper Mark Boucher to retirement.