South Africa batsman Hashim Amla announces retirement from international cricket

Hashim Amla pulls at Old Trafford
Hashim Amla pulls at Old Trafford

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has joined fellow countryman Dale Steyn in announcing his retirement from international cricket.

Having represented the Proteas in 124 Test matches and 181 One-Day Internationals, amassing over 1800 runs in all international cricket, Amla has called time on an illustrious career that will see him retire as one of South Africa's greatest ever batsman.

An elegant player who relied on more on touch and excellent hand-eye coordination rather than power and precise footwork, Amla made his Test debut against India in 2004 and initially struggled to adapt to the demands of international cricket.

Nevertheless, having been dropped in the infancy of his South Africa career, he quickly made up for lost time when recalled to the side, stroking 149 against New Zealand before establishing himself as a key member of the batting line-up by scoring runs all around the world in the ensuing years.

In that time, Amla became the first South African to make a triple century in Test cricket and the fastest to 5000 ODI runs.

Following Graeme Smith's retirement, Amla took over the captaincy of the national team in 2014 but it was a role he didn't enjoy and he resigned in early 2016 at the mid-point of the home Test series against England.

Having been at the peak of his powers in the years before taking over the captaincy, Amla found it harder to produce his brilliant best on a consistent basis thereafter and following South Africa's disappointing World Cup campaign in England where he struggled for runs at the top of the order, Amla has decided to bring down the curtain on his 15-year international career.

"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 Cricket South Africa statement.

"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!"

Amla finishes with a Test average of 46.64 and joins South Africa paceman Steyn who announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday.

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