In every generation, a new talent who shows characteristics of emulating the best athletes who have ever played, or are currently playing in their sport of choice, is discovered. In cricket, particularly when it comes to South African international cricket, however, it will take a long time before the talents of Hashim Amla can be replaced. The Durban native is regarded as one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time. He entered the history books after having set numerous records like being the fastest cricketer to reach 10 ODI centuries in his two-decade-long career.
On the 8th of August 2019, Amla decided to call time on his international career. His post-retirement career has seen him use his wealth of experience in teaching younger players. In 2019, he served as a consultant for that year’s Mzansi Super League tournament before becoming a batting mentor to the Pakistani T20 franchise, Peshawar Zalmi.
Hashim Amla Biography: His Early Life
Hashim Amla was welcomed to the world on the 31st of March, 1983, in the South African city of Durban, KwaZulu Natal. He was born into a Muslim Ansari family whose roots have been traced to the Surat region of Gujarat in India. The Amla family appears to be blessed with athletic genes as Hashim is not the only sportsman in his family. He has an older brother named Ahmed Amla who like him was a professional cricketer.
Raised in a middle-class home, Hashim received his high school education at Durban High School where he was noted for his talents in cricket. The young man went on to impress a lot of people on the youth circuit, specifically Hylton Ackerman, the former Western Province captain and coach who played a key part in his development by helping him hone his skills.
Thanks to all of this, Hashim Amla would later be able to follow in the footsteps of legends like Barry Richards and Lance Klusener who attended his alma mater to launch a professional career.
His Journey To Becoming One of the Greatest South African Cricket Players
After leaving school, Hashim Amla launched his professional career by joining the ranks of his provincial team, the KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins. Inspired by his elder brother Ahmed who had started playing cricket before him and was a member of the team, Amla proved to be an excellent prospect as he went on to captain the South African team that represented the country at the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2002. The team made it to the finals of the tournament.
In 2004, after being appointed captain of the Dolphins, a time during which he performed consistently for both his domestic team and the South Africa A squad, Hashim was chosen for the winter tour of Africa. With this, he became the first South African of Indian descent to represent the country in an international cricket competition.
While Hashim Amla initially struggled to impress on the global stage with his technique being heavily criticized, hard work and perseverance gave him the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong when in 2006 he helped South Africa to a match-saving draw against New Zealand by scoring a comeback 149. Amla’s success with the South African team continued in the following years as he earned himself a national contract. It helped that he scored 1599 runs at an average of 57.10 in his next 19 Tests to help cement his position as the country’s regular number 3 batsman.
By 2008, Amla had already built a name for himself when he scored an inspiring and unbeaten 159 against India in Chennai. In that same year, he scored 1012 runs and recorded numerous outstanding performances against decent opposition like England and Australia. In 2010, Amla was able to secure himself a permanent place in the South African ODI squad following an excellent performance during a tour of the West Indies with the Proteas.
Amidst his playing time with South Africa and the Dolphins on the domestic circuit, Hashim Amla had spells playing county cricket in England. He first played for Essex in 2009 before playing for Nottinghamshire in 2010. A few years later in 2013, he played for Surrey before playing for Derbyshire in 2015.
Amla’s success story continued until the end of his career. He was South Africa’s Test captain between June 2014 and January 2016. In 2016, the International Cricket Council (ICC) ranked him as the world’s number eight batsman in Tests, and the world’s number five in ODIs. The right-handed batter went on to become a key part of the South African national team at the 2019 Cricket World Cup before he announced his retirement from international cricket.
Records Held By Hashim Amla
In Hashim Amla’s impressive career, he was able to set some impressive records that allowed him to be named to a number of World Test XI and ODI XI by the ICC. Among these records are:
- Amla has the record of being the fastest batsman to reach 2000 (40 inns), 3000 (59 inns), 4000 (81 inns), 5000 (101 inns) and 6000 (123 inns) runs in ODIs
- He became the fastest player to score 5000 ODIs in 101 innings.
- He was also able to make 1000 runs a single calendar year in both Tests and ODIs.
- Amla holds the record of being the fastest cricketer to reach 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd centuries in ODIs.
- By scoring a ton -110- in 2016, Hashim broke Virat Kohli’s record by becoming the fastest to reach 23 ODIs hundreds. While Kholi did it in his 157th innings, Amla did take only 132 innings to score his 23 ODI Hundreds.
- Hashim is the first South African batsman to score 25 centuries in ODIs.
- In 2013, Amla and AB de Villers held the ODI wicket all-time partnership record of 238. This brief record was achieved against Pakistan.
- He is the fourth cricketer to score 25 centuries in both Test and ODI cricket.