South Africa batsman Amla retires from international cricket

08 August 2019 - 17:43 By AFP
Hashim Amla has been a fantastic servant of South African cricket.
Hashim Amla has been a fantastic servant of South African cricket.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

South Africa suffered their second major retirement in four days on Thursday when Hashim Amla ended his international career.

Amla’s decision follows Dale Steyn calling time on his Test career on Monday.

Taken together‚ that takes 442 caps out of South Africa’s collective experience.

“I learnt many lessons during this incredible ride‚ made many friends and most importantly shared in the love of a brotherhood called Protea Fire‚” Amla was quoted as saying in a Cricket South Africa release.

“I would like to thank my parents for their prayers‚ love and support. It is their shadow over me that enabled me to play for years under the Protea sun.”

Amla‚ 36‚ also thanked “my family‚ friends and agent‚ my team mates and every member of the support staff throughout this incredible journey” along with “the fans for energising me when times were tough‚ and for celebrating with me when we succeeded together”.

Typical of the thoughtful player he has been in his 15 years in the world game‚ Amla signed off with‚ “Love and peace.”

Amla was a star in all formats but will be chiefly remembered as a titan of the Test crease.

He scored 9 282 runs at an average of 46.64 and with 28 centuries in 215 Test innings.

Only Jacques Kallis has scored more runs and more centuries in Tests for South Africa‚ and only Kallis‚ AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith average higher among players who have had at least 100 innings.

But no-one has scored more runs in a single innings for South Africa than the undefeated 311 — the team’s only triple century — he made against England at the Oval in July 2012.

Amla also owns the highest scores for South Africa against India‚ West Indies and‚ post-isolation‚ Australia.

He became the No. 1 ranked batter in one-day internationals in November 2010 and the Test equivalent in February 2013‚ and rose as high as seventh on the T20 list.

Amla is the fastest player to reach 2 000‚ 3 000‚ 4 000‚ 5 000‚ 6 000 and 7 000 runs in ODIs‚ and holds the South Africa record of 27 centuries in the format.

Steyn’s and Amla’s decisions were no doubt informed by their experiences at the men’s World Cup in England from May to July.

Steyn went to the tournament carrying a shoulder injury‚ and was shipped home with — team management said — a different problem with the same shoulder before he played a game.

Amla‚ who overcame the challenges of his father’s serious illness and his own patchy form to retain his place in the squad‚ was hit on the helmet by England fast bowler Jofra Archer in the fourth over of South Africa’s first innings.

He was cleared of concussion but never recovered his poise and scored a middling 203 runs in seven innings with two half-centuries in the tournament.