Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Hashim Amla, South Africa's prolific run-scorer, was born
March 31, 1983 - Amla was the first South African to score a triple hundred in Test cricket and only the second non-white cricketer after Ashwell Prince to captain the Proteas.
A statistic that is the highlight of Hashim Amla's career is that he holds the record for being the fastest batsman to reach 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs in ODI cricket. For a player, not known for his attacking game, Amla had a knack of scoring seamlessly and quickly.
The South African batsman set very high standards for himself. During the recent ODI World Cup in England, Amla became the second-fastest batsman to amass 8000 ODI runs after Virat Kohli in the group stage clash against New Zealand at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Amla though, wasn't at his best in the showpiece event and played just seven matches, scoring 203 runs at an average of 40.60 with two fifties to his name.
As he missed out on being the fastest to 8000 by just one innings, reaching it in 176, he decided to bid goodbye to international cricket. His last international match was in the World Cup against Sri Lanka in which he managed 80 not out as South Africa won by 9 wickets but bowed out of the tournament in the group stage after a disappointing campaign.In his ODI career, Amla scored 8113 runs at 49.46 with 27 centuries and 39 half-centuries. In the shortest format, he managed 1277 runs at 33.60 including 8 fifties.
The format he is known for though is Test cricket, where Amla amassed 9282 runs at an average of 46.64 with 28 hundreds and 41 fifties. He played a total of 124 Tests, 181 ODIs and 44 T20 internationals for the Proteas in a career spanning 15 years.
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.
In 2012, 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.
In South Africa, where quota systems are in place right from junior cricket to the national team, Amla is only the second non-white cricketer after Ashwell Prince to captain South Africa. 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, 2019 and poor form had taken a little of the gloss off his numbers over a difficult final year in Test cricket, Amla left the international stage as a widely respect figure and one who always played the sport in the spirit of the game.
Apart from being the batting mentor of Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, Amla is still active as a player and played his last competitive match for Khulna Tigers in the Bangladesh Premier League early this year. He also continues to play domestic T20 cricket in South Africa.
We wish him a happy 37th!
©Cricket World 2020