South African skipper Faf du Plessis has stepped down from captaincy in Tests and T20Is with immediate effect.
He made this announcement ahead of the Australia T20I series which starts in less than a week.
Faf, who was replaced by Quinton de Kock as the ODI captain for the recent series against England stated that South Africa needed a new era of leadership.
A leader needs to be selfless: Faf
On his decision, Faf said, "In a perfect world I would have loved to lead the team in the Tests for the rest of the season as well as the T20 World Cup. But sometimes the most important attribute of leader is to be selfless."
Quinton de Kock
The South African wicket-keeper likely to replace Faf
Quinton de Kock us the front runner for the captaincy across all the three formats.
Under him, South Africa managed to draw the three-match ODI series following a 1-3 Test series defeat to England.
However, they went on to lose the T20I series 1-2 after facing defeat to England by five wickets in the third T20I.
Notably, Faf will continue to play for Proteas.
I remain available for all the three formats: Faf
"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 and will offer my knowledge and time to the new leaders," Faf said.
Faf's captaincy was under the scanner
In 2019, Faf remained under the scanner as a captain. Further, he averaged 20.92 in his last 14 Test innings.
Although he was touted as the leader for the upcoming World Cup T20, a disappointing World Cup campaign followed by consecutive series defeats might have forced him to take this decision.
2019 was a tough year for Proteas in which their several players retired.
Faf led South Africa in 112 internationals
Leaving aside his lean patch, Faf scaled new heights as the Proteas captain across formats.
He is the only South African to lead his side to Test and ODI series wins against Australia both home and away.
Under him, South Africa won 69, lost 38 and drew three matches across formats.
During his tenure, South Africa lost only two bilateral ODI series, winning nine.
South Africa's trajectory was marred by perpetual defeats
In the World Cup 2019, South Africa could win only three games and lost five, eventually crashing out of the tournament.
Although he scored 387 runs at 64.50, he couldn't deliver at crucial junctures.
Following a 0-3 series defeat to India last year, South Africa were expected to bounce back in the England home leg.