Stephen Cook has stepped down as captain of the Lions franchise, after three seasons in charge. Cook will, however, continue to play for the team.

"I have been at the helm when we have also overcome significant obstacles and am proud of what we have achieved," Cook said in a statement. "With that being said, I believe that in a time of significant change, with a new era of the team dawning, it is the right time to step away from the position. I still believe that I have great value to give as a senior player and a leader, albeit without a title."

Cook was in charge of the first-class and one-day squads, during which time Lions won the 50-over competition in 2015-16. He was selected for the national Test side in January 2016 and played 11 Tests until March 2017.

During Cook's time at the helm, the Lions hit a slump and failed to win any silverware in the last two seasons. They were hit by a protacted match-fixing scandal which saw five of their franchise players, including three former internationals Alviro Petersen, Thami Tsolekile and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, suspended and lost several senior players including Quinton de Kock and Chris Morris to other franchises.

At the end of last season, Lions moved coach Geoffrey Toyana, who had been in line for the national coaching job but then failed to even land the assistant's role, to an overseeing role and have appointed a new coach for the 2018-19 summer. Enoch Nkwe, a former top-order batsman who has coached in the Netherlands and the South Africa women's side, will take over from this season.

A new captain for the franchise is yet to be announced.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent