The South Africa cricket team will board a plane at London Heathrow and leave a glorious English summer to return to a chilly O.R Tambo airport in Johannesburg after enduring their worst ever World Cup campaign.
Massive ICC events in the UK are always eagerly anticipated back in South Africa so for the team to be leaving without having made a final will be a point of great distress.
The inquests to where it all went wrong will begin and in all likelihood, there will be a massive overhaul of South African cricket but it is at times like these, that you hope the players whose better days are some way behind them, make the honourable decision to leave without being asked to.
One of those players that needs to move on is Hashim Amla, but according to captain Faf du Plessis, the opening batsman wants to keep going. You have to admire the man’s self-belief after being arguably the worst performer in the Proteas side at the World Cup. At 36 years old and past the twilight of his career, Amla needs to take the hint and announce his retirement before every last ounce of respect that he earned over the course of a fabulous career is gone for good.
The past repeats itself for Hashim Amla
The Proteas have a long line of iconic players that refused to call it a day once they were well and truly over the hill. Amla joins the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Daryl Cullinan, Makhaya Ntini, and Mark Boucher to name just a few who had to be forced out the door after refusing to see themselves out.
That’s why it feels like whoever comes in and takes over the running of Cricket South Africa will ask to have a meeting with Amla and say thank you for your willingness to continue but this my friend, is the end of the road for you.
Young blood is key to flame the ProteaFIRE!
In fact, we were given a glimpse of what life would be without Amla after he was ruled out of the Proteas last World Cup game against Australia after suffering an injury.
A young Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock opened the batting and got off to a rollicking start with willow in hand, going at seven to the over against the likes of Mitchell Starc and co. The platform they built was so solid that it enabled the Proteas to beat Australia by 10 runs and leave the World Cup having saved some face.
Graeme Smith was saying that he felt that Amla should have been left out for the duration of the World Cup in favour of the two young guns Markram and de Kock at the top of the order and you can’t really argue with that. When you beat a team that is 5/2 to win the World Cup in cricket betting after looking dreadful up until that game, you tend to ask what has changed in order for them to do that?
Perhaps Amla could take a leaf out of Imran Tahir’s book given the leg-spinner is bowing out of international cricket at the top of his game.
There’s no shame in realizing that your time is up but there is when you keep younger players from taking the country forward.
Thank you for the memories Hash but it is time to move on and let the Proteas get on with rebuilding for the future.