Hashim Amla retires from international cricket

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Hashim Amla has retired from all international cricket. He will continue to play domestic cricket, and is also available for the upcoming Mzansi Super League 2019.

Amla’s decision to step from the international game marks the end of a career that lasted nearly 15 years, with his Test debut having come in November 2004, in India. He made his ODI and T20I debuts in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and he made his last appearance for South Africa at the recent World Cup.

He bid goodbye to the international stage with an unbeaten 80 in South Africa’s nine-wicket win against Sri Lanka, but he had an underwhelming World Cup otherwise with 203 runs overall in seven innings. Nevertheless, Amla leaves several South African limited-overs records in his wake. His 27 ODI hundreds are the most by a South African, and 24 of those came in victories. He was also the fastest batsman to 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 runs in ODI cricket. He ended his ODI career with 8,113 runs at an average of 49.46, with 39 half-centuries to go with his 27 tons.

His Test successes were even more illustrious, with Amla amassing 9,282 runs at 46.64 with 28 centuries. He was the first South African to score a triple hundred in Test cricket, and finished as his country’s second-highest run-scorer in the format, second only to Jacques Kallis.

Amla also has the highest Test scores for his country against England, India and the West Indies, and the highest against Australia in the post-unity period. Further highlights include his making 490 runs while being dismissed only once in the two-match Test series in India in 2010, scoring centuries in both innings of the second match to follow his unbeaten double century in the first.

Two years later, he earned Man of the Series honours in both the Test and ODI series in England. His innings of 196 against Australia at Perth in December 2012 won him the Man of the Match award and was an important contribution to the Proteas’ series-winning performance, as well as helping Amla to become the No. 1 ranked batsman in the world in Test cricket in 2013.

During a brief spell as captain he led the Proteas to a rare Test series win in Sri Lanka, and was named SA Cricketer of the Year in 2010, and again in 2013. While his last Test match saw him score 0 and 32 as South Africa lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka at home in February, and poor form had taken a little of the gloss off his numbers over a difficult final year in Test cricket, Amla leaves the international arena with his reputation for being the classiest, calmest man on the field intact.

“Firstly, all Glory and thanks to the Almighty for granting me this Proteas journey which has been nothing but a joy and privilege,” Amla said in a statement announcing his international retirement on Thursday. “I learnt many lessons during this incredible ride, made many friends and most importantly shared in the love of a brotherhood called #proteafire.

“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. Also, my family, friends and agent, my team mates and every member of the support staff throughout this incredible journey. A heartfelt thank you to every one of you!

“The fans for energizing me when times were tough, and for celebrating with me when we succeeded together. Siyabonga South Africa!

“And, of course, a very special thanks to the President and the Board at Cricket South Africa – not forgetting the Chief Executive, Mr Thabang Moroe, and his administrative team. I really appreciate all the opportunities and am truly grateful.

“Love and peace.” (ESPNCricinfo)