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Fri Dec 09 05:51:05 SAST 2016

Captain or not, Amla's a hero

Dennis Bloem, COPE spokesman | 2016-01-08 00:31:37.0
The Proteas team was a distinct entity from the dispirited lot of the first two days of the Test. File photo
Image by: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings / REUTERS

Hashim Amla exemplifies what true cricket is about. He is not only one of the greatest batsmen to have graced cricket, he is also one of the straightest bats in the game.

COPE salutes him for the honesty and integrity he exemplifies so magnificently. The respect he has is universal. His decision to step down will only endear him to everyone even more. He did what he had to do of his own volition. How admirable is that!

South Africa needs him to bat in his bubble with no distraction. When he does well with the bat, the team comes alive. This is what happened at Newlands.

The Proteas team was a distinct entity from the dispirited lot of the first two days of the Test.

His stepping down as captain is a gallant and courageous act. For him to take this decision after his double ton is reflective of a superstar who values integrity and honesty above accolades. There is no vanity in his great achievement.

The cricketing world knows that if Hashim nicks it, he will walk. Now that Hashim wants to be divested of the burden of captaincy, he will be the hub around which South African cricket will turn.

His adoring fans want to see him in the middle for hours on end, as they did at Newlands.

We salute you, Hashim. You represent all that is good and noble with excellence to top it.

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