Bringing down the curtains on a stellar career spanning 15 years, South African batsman Hashim Amla retires from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect. He did term it as an incredible ride and thanked the almighty for granting him the Proteas journey. Additionally, he claimed that it was a joy and a privilege and to have learned so many lessons throughout only contributed to his knowledge and shared the love and brotherhood of the Protea Fire. Furthermore, he thanked his parents for all the prayers that they had for him alongside their love and support, which acted as a protective shadow and enabled playing for so many years.
Hashim Amla even thanked his friends, teammates, agent, and members of the support staff that stood by him throughout the entire journey. He expressed that he had felt energized by the presence and cheering of fans even when the times were tough. He felt encouraged by them and even though they contributed to his success.
Amla aggregated 18,672 runs including 55 centuries and 88 other scores over 50 in a career spanning 349 international games. He is the only South African batsman to have scored triple hundred in test cricket. Additionally, he also remains the quickest batsman in the world to score landmark numbers of 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 runs in the ODI.
Even as a teenager when he led South Africa at the Under-19 World Cup of 2002 Amla was earmarked for a fulfilling international career. A naturally gifted stroke maker, he was chosen as captain against Nashua Dolphins at a young age of just 21 years for his stateside. Even then, his ice-cool demeanor would impress everyone. It was only but natural and a progressive move, when he was chosen for his test debut in 2004-05 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, during the tour of India.
Amla would establish himself as a Protea regular when he worked hard to recalibrate his wrist techniques, particularly with so many questions being asked by the top-level about his style. The beginning of a comeback was heralded when be scored a career-saving 149 runs against New Zealand at Cape Town. He also ended up aggregating a staggering 490 runs when he traveled to India in 2010 for a series. In two tests, he would be dismissed only once. Thereafter, he would put up a stellar show against England and then against Australia in 2012. At Perth, he scored 196 runs, a feat that catapulted him as a batsman to the top of the test rankings.
Amla went on to score 8,113 runs at an average and that for a player who was originally considered a misfit for the ODI format. There was a dip below 50 or precisely 49.47 only due to his extended dip in his late-career.
For a player who was originally considered a misfit in the ODI format, Amla scored 8,113 runs at an average that dipped below 50 (49.47) only because of an extended late-career dip. This included 27 centuries – the most for a South African batsman.
In 2014, after Graeme Smith’s retirement, Hashim Amla had a brief stint as South Africa Test captain. He led a still-transitioning side to a rare series win in Sri Lanka during his 14-Test tenure as the Proteas skipper. Although he did relinquish the post midway due to his inappropriate batting form, against England in 2016, he did slam a double hundred at Cape Town.
As age caught up with a technique that relied heavily on hand-eye co-ordination, Amla’s average nosedived after 2016. Given his diminishing returns, there were doubts if he would play the 2019 World Cup. Amla managed just 203 runs from seven innings at an average of 40.60 and a strike-rate of 65, even as he made the squad and yet with no final hurrahs. But Amla, today, is still considered as one among the pantheon of South African greats.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive Thabang Moroe did comment that it was rather sad to bid farewell to one of the true legends of the game. Hashim, he said, did bring a richness that he brought to the game, both on and off the field, across the world, making it the most appropriate occasion to celebrate. Additionally, he also said that Amla was an ideal role model who taught everyone how to lead better lives with humility, his primary quality. To the country at large, and Proteas, the Chief Executive felt that he had added great value. He encouraged the cricket players, administrators and the media to join the CSA family in congratulating Hashim Amla for his gracious contribution to cricket and to wish him all the best for a great future.
Amla will continue to be available for domestic cricket and the Mzansi Super League, despite his retirement from international cricket.
- Named South Africa Cricketer of the Year in 2010 and again in 2013
- Only South African batsman to score a triple hundred in a test match
Receive more interesting news, updates and live scores on your smartphones, download CricDost app now!