|BORN||March 31, 1983|
|BIRTH PLACE||Durban, Natal|
|BATTING STYLE||Right Handed|
|BOWLING STYLE||Right-arm medium|
Hashim Amla was summoned from domestic team Natal in 2004 seeking to fill the gap in the South African middle-order that looked to rebuild under Graeme Smith. After an unflattering start, it was in his fourth Test outing against New Zealand a year and half following his debut, that he scored a massive 149 to make his mark.
Amla was symbolic of Test batsmen of yore who bid their time to build long innings. It often forced him into an ultra-defensive mode, carefully choosing deliveries to entertain his willow, a weakness that bowlers initially suspected. He was given time to iron out flaws just like his South African side circa 2006. It took another 11 Tests since that 149 for Amla to post a second ton, once again facing New Zealand at home in late 2007 at Johannesburg. It was the first of two consecutive hundreds, opening floodgates in the process.
Centuries in India and England a year later marked his adoption to the highest level, atoning for poor displays in those very foreign soils earlier in his career. It also sparked an ODI call-up against Bangladesh in 2008, a position he hasn't relinquished since. As South Africa returned to being in and among the best in all formats by 2009, Amla's presence in the middle-order has been one of the ingredients of resurgence. However, the monk-like cricketer hit his purple patch in 2010, scoring 1000 plus runs with a staggering average of around 75. His consistency in both, Tests and ODIs is the biggest strength of his cricketing repertoire. Amla took his awe-inspiring form for the next couple of years in ODIs as well as Tests. In 2012, he became the first-ever South African to score a triple ton, when he scored 311 at the Oval.
The name Hashim Amla soon became synonyms for consistency and in the year 2013, he achieved a rare feat by becoming the first batsman since Ricky Ponting to head both the Test and ODI rankings of ICC. Amla was also handed the Test captaincy of the national team in 2014 but failed to deliver in the leadership role. He eventually stepped down.
Post the 2015 World Cup where the Proteas reached the semi-final, Hashim Amla has not been his same self. There was a consistent decline in his form and the run-machine that we knew went through a lean phase. Although time and again Hashim played some extraordinary knocks to keep reminding everyone about his class. Soon after a disappointing 2019 Cricket World Cup for him and South Africa, the bearded maestro announced his retirement from international cricket.
The ultimate cricketing gentleman, Hashim Amla was the epitome of class, style and calm elegance who has immensely inspired the next generation. He left behind a glorious legacy for the world of cricket. At the time of his retirement, Amla held the record for the fastest to reach 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000 ODI runs along with the most ODI tons for South Africa. With over 18,000 international runs in his kitty, one of the best Protea batsmen had an illustrious career and cricket will remember him for his monk-like patience and humility.