Faf du Plessis has announced his decision to step down as captain of South Africa's Test and T20I teams with immediate effect.
The 35-year-old's decision to relinquish the leadership duties comes in the aftermath of his side's 1-3 defeat to England in the four-match Test series under his captaincy.
Du Plessis, who has captained the Proteas in a total of 112 international matches across formats, commented on the need for a fresh skipper in Quinton de Kock to formally rescue the team from slipping further into a downward spiral.
“When I took over the leadership, I did so with the commitment to lead, perform and most importantly, to serve. As the team heads into a new direction with new leaders and a young crop of players, I feel it will be in the best interests of South Africa cricket to relinquish the captaincy," he stated.
"This was one of the toughest decisions to make, but I remain fully committed to supporting Quinton, Mark and my teammates as we continue to rebuild and re-align as a group."
Du Plessis was earlier removed from the captaincy post for the ODIs with de Kock handed the charge of the team during the three-match series against England.
He was later not named in the T20I squad for the encounters with the tourists as de Kock continued to lead the side.
Despite being overlooked for selection in the white-ball formats owing to inconsistent form, du Plessis has confirmed his commitment to representing his team on the international stage and easing the process of succession.
"The last season of my captaincy has been the most challenging to date as I had a lot of off-field issues that I devoted my energy towards.
“I have strived to lead the team with dignity and authenticity during exhilarating highs and devastating lows. I have given my everything during my tenure."
“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."