Faf du Plessis has quit as South Africa captain across all three formats of cricket, but will remain available for selection, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Monday.
Du Plessis says he wants to take a step back from captaincy to allow a new generation of leaders to develop in the side, with the 35-year-old admitting earlier this year he was not looking at his future in international cricket beyond the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in October.
Du Plessis was rested for the recent One-Day International and Twenty20 series against England, where South Africa were led by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
“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 African cricket to relinquish the captaincy in all formats,” Du Plessis said in a statement.
“This was one of the toughest decisions to make, but I remain fully committed to supporting Quinton,” he added.
Du Plessis has come under increasing pressure in recent months after a disappointing 50-over World Cup in England last year was followed by a test series thrashing in India and a 3-1 home loss to England in January.
His form with the bat has been poor as well, averaging just 20.92 in his last 14 test innings, which has led to his place in the side being questioned.