South Africa news December 19, 2012

Alviro Petersen steps down as Lions captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa batsman Alviro Petersen has stepped down as captain of the Highveld Lions franchise with immediate effect, due to his commitments with the national side. Stephen Cook will captain the team for the remainder of the first-class Sunfoil Series.

"When I took over as Lions captain, my immediate focus, together with then coach Dave Nosworthy, was to build a squad who can compete in all three competitions, hence the recruitment of [Thami] Tsolekile, [Gulam] Bodi, [Imran] Tahir and [Hardus] Viljoen," Petersen said.

"We have also seen young talented cricketers emerging and also the squad mature as a whole. I do think the squad is complete now, and ready to win silverware. I would like to thank the Lions board, coaching staff, supporters and most of all the players, for their support and commitment the last three years.

"I wish the new leadership team of Lions cricket all the best, while I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities in my career."

Petersen captained the side for three years, during which they played in the final round of four limited-overs competitions and qualified for the Champions League T20 twice. Lions reached the final of the latest edition of the Champions League, losing to Sydney Sixers.