Cape Town - In the wake of a flurry of Kolpak deals, the Proteas can at least take heart in the fact that one of their most prized possessions is not going anywhere soon.
Hashim Amla will play his 100th Test match this week, and there was good news from captain Faf du Plessis on Wednesday, who confirmed that the 33-year-old was not contemplating from the game just yet.
"I've spoken to him and he's still very keen to push it for as long as that great body of his can go," said Du Plessis.
"He's not even thinking about it."
Amla will become the eighth South African to reach this milestone, and Du Plessis believes he could be the last.
"I’m going to make a massive call and say that Hash is probably going to be the last guy that plays 100 Test matches for South Africa because of the way the game is changing," said Du Plessis.
"Quinny (Quinton de Kock) and KG (Kagiso Rabada) are possibly looking at that at youngsters but that’s a long at into the future.
"The game has evolved so much. If you look at Hash and AB and Graeme and Jacques and all those guys, it was a period of a lot of Test cricket that was played over a long period of time.
"Now there is a lot of T20. I just think that the game is changing and that you won’t play for as long, because there is so much more cricket.
"Whether I’m proven wrong … it’s very special. I’m not going to get to 100. It’s something we’ll never get to. He deserves all the accolades he’s getting."
Du Plessis, like so many others this week, was full of praise for Amla and what he has given to South African cricket.
"For me 100 Test matches is an amazing effort, but as true to Hash it’s just another game for him and he doesn’t want any attention coming towards him," the skipper said.
"He just wants to rock up and play another game of cricket. I’d like to make it extra special for him, but I know that that’s not Hash.
"He’s been the rock of our batting. Hash has been the most
consistent player, I think with Jacques Kallis, that South Africa has ever had.
"I think he’s had two lean patches in his career.
"He adds a lot of value and certainly for me I’ve learnt a
lot … that you need to look at success and failure in the same way."