Veteran player Hashim Amla announced that he has joined Gauteng Lions as a batting coach. However, this led to a question: had he ever taken a break from the game? Not really, or at least not for a significant period that would let people forget the impact he made. Some players leave behind memories, while others create a lasting magic that continues to shine long after they’ve retired.
However, even with a remarkable career like Amla’s – including 28 centuries and 9,282 runs at an average of 46.64 in 215 Test innings, and holding records for being the fastest to reach milestones like 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 6,000, and 7,000 runs in ODIs – success as a coach is far from guaranteed. What could he potentially bring to this new role?
In an exclusive interview with Cricbuzz, Steyn stated “Any team who sign him up are going to benefit from him and his presence. Even if he wasn’t a coach, if he was just a mentor, just people talking to him and listening to him, seeing what a calm person he is, would help a team so much. As a coach, what’s even better is that he can add his input on things like how to score, where to score, when to score, when not to score. From a batting perspective, that’s massive.”
Amla concluded his international career in June 2019, with a total of 349 appearances. Following that, he participated in 59 additional matches representing various teams such as Karnataka Tuskers, Falcon Hunters, Khulna Tigers, World Giants – T10, BPL, legends squads, and Surrey.
During the last year’s county championship, Amla played 21 innings for Surrey, achieving two centuries and three half-centuries, accumulating 718 runs at an average of 39.88. This performance is impressive, especially considering he celebrated his 40th birthday on May 31. Interestingly, Amla is 487 days younger than James Anderson, who continues to play, although not in his prime.
On January 18 of this year, Amla officially retired from professional cricket, a decision that garnered widespread appreciation for his remarkable career and exemplary character from both former teammates and opponents.
However, in March, he made a return by participating in two Legends T20 matches in Doha. Notably, in the second match, he scored 68 runs off 59 balls, facing a challenging lineup including Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Abdur Razzak, Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi, and Abdul Razzaq.