One of the greatest to play the game has called time on his legendary career Photo Twitter @ProteasMenCSA
South Africa – Hashim Amla, one of the greatest South African batsmen, has laid his bat down for the last time. Amla announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after confirming with Surrey that he will not be back to help defend the County Championship title that the club secured in his final season as a player in 2022.
The 39-year-old retired from international cricket after South Africa’s World Cup campaign in 2019. He retired from test cricket after playing against Sri Lanka at Gqeberha in February that year. Over the course of a two decade long career Amla secured his legacy as one of South Africa’s all-time cricketing greats.
Amla’s early years
At just the tender age of 16, Amla made his first-class debut for a KwaZulu-Natal side against the touring England team in December 1999. He would only have to wait five more years before he made his test debut with South Africa on 28 November 2004 in Kolkata, India.
After completing high school and impressing on the youth circuit, he made his debut for the KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins. Amla had all the right qualities of a captain. This responsibility was handed to him in 2002 when he captained South Africa at the Under-19 Cricket world Cup in New Zealand taking his team all the way to the finals. At the young age of 21, he was handed the captaincy band at KwaZulu-Natal. He was cited as one who would captain South Africa, which he did between June 2014 to January 2016 when he became the test captain, a role he was not comfortable in. He captained South Africa in 14 tests before ultimately resigning midway through a series against England in 2015/16 after scoring a double century in a high-scoring draw at Newlands, Cape Town.
He was not an instant success as many would like to believe. There were questions raised about his technique and his back lift. Against England during the 2004-05 season, he only managed to muster 36 runs in four innings but that did not stop him from improving his game. When given a second chance against New Zealand, he made it count scoring 149 runs and helping South Africa to a draw.
Amla the record breaker and setter
Over the course of his legendary career Amla scored 34,104 runs across all professional formats. In 124 Test appearances he scored 9,282 runs, second only to Jacques Kallis for South Africa. This includes 28 hundreds and a record setting 311 not out against England at the Kia Oval in 2012. South Africa’s first triple-century in Tests and highest individual Test score.
His One Day International record is unmatched. He scored 8 113 runs including 27 hundreds in 181 ODIs. He holds the record for being the fastest to score 2000 (40 innings), 3000 (57 innings), 4000 (81 innings), 5000 (101 innings), 6000 and 7000 ODI runs. He also holds the record for being the fastest cricketer to score 15, 16, 17, 18 and 20 centuries in ODI and became the fastest player to score 25 ODI centuries. On 19 January 2018, Amla would break another record becoming the fastest player to reach 27 centuries in ODI cricket. Virat Kholi reached it in 169 innings while Amla managed to do it in 167 innings. He scored 1277 runs in 44 T20 internationals with his highest score being 97 not out.
Former teammates showing their respect and admiration for him
With his retirement announced, his former teammates, as well as Surrey, took to social media to express their admiration and love for him. Former Proteas teammate, AB de Villers, tweeted a very heartfelt message in which he thanked Amla for always being there for him as well as having the cool and calm composure to ignore those who didn’t believe in him.
Hashim Amla announces retirement from all forms of cricket 🏏
The legendary South African batter has declared his playing career over.
From everyone at Surrey, thank you for everything Hash.@amlahash 🤎
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) January 18, 2023
So, today, I salute you my friend. You served the game to perfection! We can all learn from that. I did
I wish I could bat with you one more time.
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) January 18, 2023
South Africa’s most feared fast bowler, Dale Steyn, also took to Twitter to wish Amla well and described him as “genuinely one of the best humans ever”
He probably won’t see this tweet but I just wana tell you all, @amlahash is more than a cricketer, he is genuinely one of the best humans ever.
The mighty # we salute you!
Well done my friend
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) January 19, 2023
Fans across the world showing their support for Amla
Perhaps one of the most telling signs of Amla’s greatness is the cricket fans who rushed to congratulate him and sing his praises. It wasn’t just South Africans who appreciate and recognise Amla’s legacy. Many poured out their hearts to express what Amla truly meant to them and the beloved sport.
Hash officially retires from all forms of cricket 😢😢
A role model and inspiration to all who watched him. He inspires greatness both on and off the field. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ngRF5Bmfqx
— joe root stan account (@SabeehaMajid) January 18, 2023
Thank you Hashim Amla for all the beautiful memories. Thank you for the example you have set for younger athletes and people in general. You will always be my favourite cricketer. Enjoy retirement ❤️ @amlahash https://t.co/Ry5NhpkBiZ
— Billz 🇿🇦 (@billz_25) January 18, 2023
Hashim Amla debuted in an era where it wasn’t easy being a Muslim public personality.
He proved a role model and worthy representative of a community that needed it.
We look up to him for his cricket and character.
Thank you for your services, between the 22 and beyond.
— Musad Afzal (@MusadAfzal) January 19, 2023
Even in his twilight years he continued to be a prolific run-scorer for Surrey, scoring 1 712 runs at an average of 48.91 in his last two seasons. Amla is currently a batting consultant with the MI Cape Town franchise in the SA20 league.
Amla’s legacy is one that will be hard to match. A leader on and off the pitch and a role model to millions across the world. After all the joy and happiness he has brought us, he deserves this well earned send off and vacation.