Prince elected as first black captain of Proteas

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg:The ghost of apartheid was finally exorcised after Ashwell Prince replaced injured Graeme Smith to captain South Africa on the upcoming tour to Sri Lanka, thus becoming the first black to reach the post.

National convenor of selectors, Haroon Lorgat, today announced the withdrawal of Smith from the Sri Lankan tour, which starts at the end of the month.

Smith slipped and sustained an injury to his right ankle while running on Saturday evening in Knysna. After an X-ray and a scan as well as a consultation with team physiotherapist Shane Jabaar, Smith was diagnosed with two torn ligaments.

Prince, who had stood in for injured all-rounder Jacques Kallis as vice-captain, was named as captain to lead the Proteas to the sub-continent for the two Test matches in Sri Lanka.

The southpaw established himself in 2004-05 with consistent performances in South Africa's home series against England. He further cemented his place in the side with a wonderful 119 against Australia in Sydney in January.

Meanwhile, Jacques Rudolph, who had a successful tour of Sri Lanka with the SA 'A' team last year, has been named as the replacement batsman for Graeme Smith.

Squad: Ashwell Prince (Captain),Hashim Amla, Nicky Boje, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Boeta Dippennaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn and Thandi Tshabalala.

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