'Experienced' Amla, Peterson ready to fill Proteas 'leadership vacuum' for Champions Trophy

Johannesburg, May 29 (ANI): Key South African cricketers Hashim Amla and Robin Peterson have expressed their readiness to fill the leadership vacuum at the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

With Graeme Smith out injured and Jacques Kallis opting to pull out due to personal reasons, the South Africans will be without two of their most experienced campaigners, which leaves skipper AB de Villiers with a tough job on his hands, Sport24 reports.

According to the report, the leadership obligation has shifted towards the experienced Amla and Peterson, who have agreed to help, as players Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy will be focusing on regaining their form after their recent return from injuries.

Although Amla's desire to contribute as a leader again may come as a surprise after his stepping down as a vice captain, he, however, said that he will not shy away from lending a helping hand, adding that he will go ahead if he finds the need to add value in a certain way.

Stating that the team is in a good space, Amla said that although they will miss the experience and assistance of Smith and Kallis, they are in the right direction and will conduct themselves normally and keep building the team, adding that he believes that the team can spring a surprise in the final edition of the eight-nation tournament.

According to Amla, the team wants to send off outgoing coach Gary Kirsten with a smile and fond memories of the team, adding that it is important for them to win the Champions Trophy so that Kirsten can have an expression of the value he has given to the team.

Agreeing with Amla, Peterson, who has represented the Proteas since 2002, said that he would relish taking up a role of greater responsibility, adding that the secret of the team's success is that they have created an environment where every player is a leader. (ANI)