HASHIM AMLA KE SEAPARANKWE
Hashim Amla recently retired from international cricket and South African cricket lost its peaceful warrior. Hashim throughout his career became a symbol of peace, humility and nation-building in the game. His religious, spiritual and moral convictions were always on display to be examined by the world. He stood tall and firm and seldom waved from his principles. More importantly, he has a phenomenal record across cricketing formats. Personally, his test batsmanship remains the pinnacle of his excellence as he often demonstrated artistry, intelligence and mental fortitude.
Batting and fielding averages
I have had the privilege of sharing the field, change room, coffee, dinner and a seat with the great man himself. I remember going to the Championship with him while playing for the Cape Cobras. He was always happy to invite members of the team out for a meal. Who says no to a free lunch with Hashim Amla?
During one of our many dinners in the 2013/2014 season, I felt comfortable enough to share with him the challenges I was facing with the bat. I shared with him my challenge of constantly getting out in the thirties and asked him for guidance on how to overcome this hurdle. He asked what I felt changed when I got to thirty-odd runs? I expressed that thirty signalled to me that I could relax and the hard work of getting in was done.
He paused for a minute before responding by saying get that thought out of your head and to do the same thing that got you from zero to thirty. Moreover, apply the same principle from thirty to sixty and sixty to a hundred. He concluded the discussion by challenging me to focus on batting the whole day in four-day cricket. I accepted the challenge.
That season was my best to date!
Thank you to the mighty Hash for your contribution to my life and my game. I want to take this opportunity on behalf of all the players in South Africa and the world over to say thank you for your contribution to the game of cricket. You have touched many lives in your years of service to South African cricket.
Hashim Amla is the bravest warrior of our generation who wore the plumes of the rare bird and demonstrated leadership and heroism during his cricket career. His authenticity and character will remain the shining light of his immense contribution to the game of cricket. It is for these reasons that he deserves the highest honour awarded to the people of South Africa, through the African National Congress, for his outstanding contribution to the game of cricket: Seaparankwe.