Hashim Amla of South Africa during day 1 of the 2018/19 Castle Lager Test Series match between South Africa and Pakistan at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town on 3 January 2019 Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Hashim Amla wasn’t one for many words.

His quiet nature was in sharp contrast to his enormous appetite for runs – all 18 672 of them for the Proteas in international cricket.

But Amla spoke beautifully about what it meant to represent his country for more than a decade as he announced his retirement on Thursday.

“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,” Amla said in a statement.

“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 energising me when times were tough, and for celebrating with me when we succeeded together. Siyabonga South Africa!”

And then it was time for some of his teammates to pay tribute to the former South African captain, and two former captains, Ashwell Prince and AB de Villiers, led the way.

“The Peaceful Warrior!!! Congratulations on serving our country with distinction and humility young man. An absolute giant of the game and more importantly a fantastic role model for generations to come. Enjoy putting your feet up young man, and if those boys of yours hit half as many balls as you, good luck with throwing all of them. #respect #thepeacefulwarrior” Prince posted on Instagram.

De Villiers said on the same platform: “Unreal career @amlahash! So many doubted u early on, but your fighting spirit, humility & incredible one of a kind talent took u to the top of the mountain and ultimately to one of the best players in the world and certainly I’ve ever seen. Congrats on an amazing career, Humaam”

Another SA stalwart who first saw Amla as a youngster at Kingsmead, Shaun Pollock, added: “Congratulations to Hashim Amla on a fantastic international career..what an amazing journey it has been since seeing you for the first time in the Kingsmead nets in the late 90’s... well done..respect.. @amlahash”


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