Cape Town - Proteas star batsman Hashim Amla on Thursday called time on one of the great international careers of the modern era when he announced his retirement from all formats of international cricket.
He will continue to be available for domestic cricket as well as the Mzansi Super League.
In an international career that was spread over 15 years he played 349 matches across the three formats for the Proteas, making more than 18 000 runs, including 55 centuries and 88 other scores in excess of 50.
The statistical highlights are almost too many to relate. He has made South Africa's only Test triple century to date and has made the highest Test scores for his country against England, India and the West Indies and the highest against Australia in the post-unity period.
He also made 490 runs and was only dismissed once in the two-match Test series in India in 2010, scoring centuries in both innings of the second match to follow his unbeaten double century in the first and earned Man of the Series honours in both the Test and ODI series in England in 2012.
His innings of 196 against Australia at Perth the same year won him the Man of the Match award and was an important contribution to the Proteas series-winning performance. This resulted in his becoming the No 1 ranked batsman in the world in Test cricket in 2013.
His ODI career was equally successful as he was ranked among the best batsmen in this format for an extended period of time for much of that period having an average in excess of 50 and a strike rate of 100 and has been the quickest batsman to reach the landmarks of 2 000, 3 000, 4 000, 5 000, 6 000 and 7 000 runs in the format. He also holds the SA record of 27 ODI centuries.
During a brief spell as captain he led the Proteas to a rare Test series win in Sri Lanka.
He was named SA Cricketer of the Year in 2010 and again in 2013.
"It is always sad to bid farewell to one of the true legends of the game," commented Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive Thabang Moroe.
"But at the same time this is rather an occasion to celebrate the richness that Hashim has brought to the game around the world both on and off the field. His humility has always been his standout quality and I cannot imagine a better role model to teach us all how to lead better lives. He has added great value not only to the Proteas but to the country at large.
"I am sure cricket players, administrators, the media and fans from around the world will join the CSA Family in congratulating Hashim on a job well done and to wish him all the best for the future.
"We can indeed be grateful that he remains available for our domestic cricket and will continue to contribute by passing on his rich cricket and life experiences to our next generation of players," concluded Moroe.
Hashim Amla's statement:
Firstly, all Glory and thanks to the Almighty for granting me this Proteas journey which has been nothing but a joy and privilege. I learnt many lessons during this incredible ride, made many friends and most importantly shared in the love of a brotherhood called #proteafire.
I would like to thank my parents for their prayers, love and support, it is their shadow over me that enabled me to play for years under the Protea sun.
Also, My family, friends and agent, my team mates and every member of the support staff throughout this incredible journey. A heartfelt thank you to every one of you!
The fans for energizing me when times were tough, and for celebrating with me when we succeeded together. Siyabonga South Africa!
And, of course, a very special thanks to the President and the Board at Cricket South Africa - not forgetting the Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe, and his administrative team. I really appreciate all the opportunities and am truly grateful.
Love and peace.