CAPE TOWN          -       South Africa’s Hashim Amla announced his retirement from international cricket on Thursday, bringing the curtain down on one of the country’s leading batting careers.

The 36-year-old played international cricket for 15 years, scoring almost 10,000 test runs and close to another 10,000 in limited overs internationals. He is the only South African to have scored a triple century in test cricket – a record 311 not out against England at The Oval in mid-2012 – and is second behind Jacques Kallis in test runs for the country (9,282).

His retirement follows swiftly on from that of his fast bowling colleague Dale Steyn and is no surprise after a disappointing World Cup in England in May and June. Amla struggled initially at test level, with his batting technique heavily questioned, but after a first test century against New Zealand at Newlands in 2006 he established himself as a key player in the South Africa set-up. He went on to top the ICC rankings for both Test and ODI batsmen. Amla was appointed test captain in 2014 but gave up the job during England’s visit to South Africa at the beginning of 2016 when it was affecting his form.

On his retirement, Amla said: “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,” he added.

“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,” Amla concluded.