Cape Town - Proteas star batsman Hashim Amla has left the Dolphins and will represent the Cape Cobras with immediate effect.
"After a great deal of consideration and detailed discussion with my family and closest confidants, I have made the decision to move to the Cape Cobras with immediate effect," Amla confirmed.
"I must stress that this was a difficult decision for me. I have always considered myself a Durban boy and know that I will dearly miss the support of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) fans during the domestic games. Although I may not have played a lot of domestic cricket in recent years due to my national team commitments, it is this tremendous support of the fans at KZN that I will remember and cherish the most.
"I have decided to pursue my domestic career with the Cape Cobras, and I am looking forward to joining a team that has as rich a tradition as the Dolphins. I’m extremely excited about the future and look forward to making many new friends and colleagues in the Western Cape, whilst enjoying the game of cricket.
"I would like to use this opportunity to personally wish the players of the Dolphins’ team everything of the best. Lastly, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Dolphins’ CEO Jesse Chellan for his support and assistance. It has been a great pleasure to work with him."
Hashim Amla's older brother Ahmed called time on his career over the weekend.
"It is a big compliment that one of the greats of the
world game has decided to join us” said WCC chairperson, Beresford Williams.
Andre Odendaal echoed these views, saying, “I do not think we fully appreciate
yet how highly history will measure Hashim’s value to South African cricket
and, besides his brilliance on the field and humility off it, he will add to a
diversity that the Cobras prize - and believe to be a precondition for
excellence and success”.
The Cape Cobras have won five trophies in the
last three seasons and coach Paul Adams wants to keep the success graph going
upwards: “We understand that Hashim will not play a lot for us, but he adds
depth and aura to a brand that we want to make the best. He is the perfect guy
to have in any team”.
All three of the recently-announced Wisden Cricketers of the
Year from SA are now Cobras and no less than eight Cobras currently have
national Proteas contracts. Five of the eight are among the star black players
in the country.
Williams stressed in conclusion that WCC did not try
to lure Amla away from his old franchise.
He said, “We regret any breakdown
that may have occurred there, but we now welcome him with open arms and trust
he will grow further as a person and player with us”.