I wouldn’t say I was the best at getting up in a morning after having very little sleep, but there are certain times of the year when arising at five o’clock in the morning is a must. Many would argue that it’s a waste of time and unnecessary, however when some of the world’s best cricketers are on show it becomes a totally different matter.
Born to a South African Muslim family, Amla has often been idolised by many of the Muslim community when it comes his sporting profession for both the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch.
Never one to boast about his personal accolades or go looking to be in front of the camera, Amla is a very rounded individual who oozes professionalism.
So it was no surprise to anyone when he was named as the Proteas test side captain following the retirement of Graeme Smith in 2014.
Playing some of his best cricket in his career the decision was the obvious one. All be it the amount of candidates who could also have been asked, as the like of AB De Villiers and Jaques Kallis were all up for consideration no doubt.
Unfortunately though things were not going to plan and having failed to get a win in the last eight test matches including the opening test against England, Amla decided to resign as captain with AB taking over for the rest of the test series.
Take nothing away from the top order batsman. Sometimes, something are just not meant to be and it seemed both South Africa and Hashim Amla would be better off with a new captain.
So having woken up at ridiculous o’clock for the past month or so I had witnessed England turning over South Africa in the test series. A big surprise considering England’s recent poor form against South Africa as well as the vast changes that had been enforced by the England (and Wales) Cricket Board.
Never the less, Amla wouldn’t be one to sit around and mull over his decision. In fact he would go straight back to doing what he did best. Tearing apart the opposition bowling attack to leave his side in very commanding positions and this is exactly what happened in the ODI series.
Perhaps going 2-0 down in the five game series didn’t help, but three dominating performances later saw the Proteas win the series pretty comfortably in the end.
The elegant stroke player who had struggled lately, revived his world class performances to hit a mouth-watering century in the third one day game. All be it overshadowed by the sensational tonne from Quinton De Kock, the Amla of old had returned.
It wasn’t just his batting though. Not the most mobile of fielders when compared to the likes of De Villiers and Du Plessis but a solid performer to say the least. Reliable in the slips and a dandy gully fielder too.
Hashim Amla will no doubt go down as one of the greatest players in cricketing history. A delight to watch and a true legend of the game.