Hashim Amla, the second-most Test runs scored by South Africa ever, has announced that he will no longer participate in any form of cricket at the age of 39.
He scored 9282 runs for South Africa in 124 Test matches, second only to Jacques Kallis, hit 27 hundreds in one-day internationals, and scored 18672 runs across all formats.
Prasanna Agoram, who had been the performance analyst for South Africa for a long time, wrote a tribute to Amla for this newspaper three years ago when he announced his retirement from international cricket.
Where do I begin the story of the greatest person I’ve ever met? He is known around the world as a great batsman, which he is, of course. However, my memories of him focus on the incredible person he is as a person.
There are numerous tales, many of which still embarrass me, but it must be said to provide fans with a glimpse of this unique individual. So, let me begin with something that happened at a dinner at his house.
When Hashim abruptly took the plate from my hands, wiped the leftovers into the dustbin, and carried it to the sink, I had just finished eating and was looking for a place to keep it.
He said, “Arre bhai, you have come to my house,” even as I mumbled my protests as I stood frozen there. In some ways, you are my guru and brother. Please allow me to pay tribute to you.
Another memory, another dinner. I don’t eat a lot, so that day I couldn’t finish everything on my plate.
He told me, “Bhai, don’t waste food,” as I stood up with the plate in my hand. Additionally, he consumed the food that was left over from my plate on his own. I was left staring once more, and I realized the changes I need to make in my own life to improve myself. In that, Hashim was my mentor.