December 15, 2013

Cricket's finest bloke?

Quiet, unassuming, polite and humble, Hashim Amla remains a terrific role model
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Is Amla the most respected cricketer on the world circuit?
Is Amla the most respected cricketer on the world circuit? © AFP

In between all the bad-tempered shenanigans in the Ashes, the humblest and most self-effacing cricketer on Planet Earth crept up on one of the gods of cricket and broke his record, almost apologetically, as if he had no right to be in heaven.

I refer to Hashim Amla becoming the fastest player to reach 4000 ODI runs, eclipsing the mighty Viv Richards. In so many different senses, you couldn't get players who were any more different in style and power. Amla has none of the swagger and brutality that Viv displayed in his pomp, and yet he is entitled to share in some of that reflected glory, much to the embarrassment of Amla himself.

To be fair to Sir Viv, if he had batted in these times, on flat tracks, facing bowlers who serve up a regular dose of full tosses and with only four men allowed out in the deep, to say nothing of the improved cricket bats, one shudders to think what carnage he may have caused. The general improvement in the standard of fielding might have been a limiting factor but Viv rarely got to plunder poor bowling attacks either. There were hardly any minnows around in his time.

But I digress; there is a danger that the real subject may slip under the radar, just the way Amla seems to prefer it. Quiet, unassuming, polite and humble, here is a man who perhaps owes his career to an even greater man, who has slipped away into the night - Nelson Mandela. I will declare my bias upfront. I am an Africa-phile, unashamedly obsessed with southern Africa in particular, and a huge admirer of the Mandela legacy. That admiration now stretches to an unabashed man crush on Amla.

He is one of the few in modern cricket that I truly admire as a person. My two young sons too have taken him to their hearts, partly because we love watching his wristy style but mainly because he just goes about his business without any rancour or malice. In a sport that has recently "undistinguished" itself by the crass and boorish behaviour of many of its luminaries, Amla is a fantastic role model.

He is living proof that you can score runs, and runs, and more runs without needing to resort to cheap excuses about needing to sledge or be sledged in order to fire up one's own competitive streak. I suspect Amla was the subject of some fierce sledging early in his career but the word on the street now is that most international opponents just leave him alone, perhaps out of respect and perhaps from the realisation that he is so secure in his own skin that he is immune to such immaturity.

Amla's serene demeanour may have come from his background, growing up in the Rainbow Nation post-apartheid. Perhaps as a child growing up in Durban, he may have experienced some of the teething problems that besieged South Africa when it emerged from its dark past in the early 1990s. I am fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in South Africa, and while I can appreciate that change of this magnitude comes slowly, I have only ever experienced a hospitality and warmth that defies all the stories I read as a child.

Amla is living proof that you can score runs, and runs, and more runs without needing to resort to cheap excuses about needing to sledge or be sledged

Admittedly I am not a native of this beautiful country and I haven't seen what lies beneath the surface, so it's hard to know if Amla has developed his serenity from learning to cope with being different. His popularity among his team-mates reflects what I've seen in modern South Africa - from the Afrikaners to the English to the Asian coloureds to various African tribes, all I've experienced is kindness and friendship, so much so that it was difficult to imagine, reading Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom, what it must have been like to grow up and live in the apartheid years.

So here's my question: of all the current players, leaving aside patriotic bias, is Amla the most "respected" on the world circuit? Of course we'll never know what goes on in the dressing rooms but on the surface of it, is there an opponent who genuinely dislikes Amla (the man and not the cricketer)? Other contenders for me would include Sachin Tendulkar, Mike Hussey, Shiv Chanderpaul and Muttiah Muralitharan (putting aside the controversies relating to his bowling action).

I'm talking here about that genuine good-bloke status that Amla seems to enjoy, even when he is calmly slicing an attack apart (and therefore presumably liable to copping a bit of frustrated vitriol from the fielding team).

From a pure batting perspective, I reckon he's as good a player to watch as any. His stunning knock in Perth last year was something to behold, a surgical dismembering of an attack, without the slightest hint of aggro. Even his celebrations are muted and dignified, which resonates with me but may not be enough for the marketers of gloss and showbiz.

I was moved to write this piece after watching Mandela's funeral, because Amla, more than any other person I can think of, reflects the dignity of Madiba and owes his presence on the world stage to Mandela's long walk to freedom.

Michael Jeh is an Oxford Blue who played first-class cricket, and is a Playing Member of the MCC. He lives in Brisbane

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • OzHorse on December 18, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    @MrGarreth

    I'm going to try once more - removing a word that may have been causing some filter to exclude the posting. I'd love to see this put this music.

    The Mighty Hash (Hash The Eskimo) - Part 1:

    Chorus: Come on with flair, come on with dash. You'll not see nothing like the mighty Hash.

    Every batsman's swinging, with big heavy bats. Front foot splayed out to leg. Just slogging away like hacks. Every purist, in despair. But finally there's hope. He's Hash the Eskimo, 'cause he's so cool. He's really gonna float ya boat.

    Chorus.

    Let him wear what he wants to wear, he likes his shirts booze clean. And he likes to destroy bowling attacks. Maybe that's what was meant by Dean. He's humility personified, and just a little coy. But when Hash the Eskimo come to bat. Everybody's gonna jump for joy.

    Chorus.

  • nayonika on December 17, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Amla,for me is an amalgam of Dravid & Tendulkar both in the way he bats and conducts himself on and off the field. A very good batsman and a thorough gentleman.

  • on December 17, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Thats really great Mr Amla you deserved this record and hats off to your attitute also.

  • on December 17, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    I would like to add that you don't have to be an exponent of T20 cricket, IPL etc. to be a world-class batsman. There's hope for Test cricket as long as people like Amla exist.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 17, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    I personally think Ryan Harris is a fine bloke, although Hash obviously is too.

  • suharshan on December 16, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    I would add Sangakkara and Misbah among current players

  • on December 16, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Amla does not interest me. Jayasuriya broke all ODI records when he played. Fastest 100, fastest 50, fastest 150, most runs in an over, most sixes in an inning, most sixes in ODI cricket. some of these records were taken by Shahid Afridi and Gibbs. Amla will be forgotten.

  • on December 16, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Amla is a magnificient batsman to watch and he is an excellent ambassador for the game of cricket. When sledging is the flavor of the day down under, Amla comes across as a person with values from the good old era when the game was played as per the spirits of the game. Wish Amla a long career at the top and he entertains people in the coming days in tests and ODIs.

  • Arif_Shah on December 16, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Saeed Anwar would be a Pakistani cricketer that comes to mind. None of his flamboyance as a stroke-maker was visible in his personality.

    He even narrated an incident where McGrath once sledged him a bit and straight away after the day's play cam up to him to apologized.

  • Testcricketistop on December 16, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Posted by Narayan.Shastri on (December 16, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

    Dravid has long been my favovourite Indian cricketer for many reasons, being the silent contributor, calm, humble and a great batsman.

  • OzHorse on December 18, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    @MrGarreth

    I'm going to try once more - removing a word that may have been causing some filter to exclude the posting. I'd love to see this put this music.

    The Mighty Hash (Hash The Eskimo) - Part 1:

    Chorus: Come on with flair, come on with dash. You'll not see nothing like the mighty Hash.

    Every batsman's swinging, with big heavy bats. Front foot splayed out to leg. Just slogging away like hacks. Every purist, in despair. But finally there's hope. He's Hash the Eskimo, 'cause he's so cool. He's really gonna float ya boat.

    Chorus.

    Let him wear what he wants to wear, he likes his shirts booze clean. And he likes to destroy bowling attacks. Maybe that's what was meant by Dean. He's humility personified, and just a little coy. But when Hash the Eskimo come to bat. Everybody's gonna jump for joy.

    Chorus.

  • nayonika on December 17, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Amla,for me is an amalgam of Dravid & Tendulkar both in the way he bats and conducts himself on and off the field. A very good batsman and a thorough gentleman.

  • on December 17, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Thats really great Mr Amla you deserved this record and hats off to your attitute also.

  • on December 17, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    I would like to add that you don't have to be an exponent of T20 cricket, IPL etc. to be a world-class batsman. There's hope for Test cricket as long as people like Amla exist.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 17, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    I personally think Ryan Harris is a fine bloke, although Hash obviously is too.

  • suharshan on December 16, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    I would add Sangakkara and Misbah among current players

  • on December 16, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Amla does not interest me. Jayasuriya broke all ODI records when he played. Fastest 100, fastest 50, fastest 150, most runs in an over, most sixes in an inning, most sixes in ODI cricket. some of these records were taken by Shahid Afridi and Gibbs. Amla will be forgotten.

  • on December 16, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Amla is a magnificient batsman to watch and he is an excellent ambassador for the game of cricket. When sledging is the flavor of the day down under, Amla comes across as a person with values from the good old era when the game was played as per the spirits of the game. Wish Amla a long career at the top and he entertains people in the coming days in tests and ODIs.

  • Arif_Shah on December 16, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Saeed Anwar would be a Pakistani cricketer that comes to mind. None of his flamboyance as a stroke-maker was visible in his personality.

    He even narrated an incident where McGrath once sledged him a bit and straight away after the day's play cam up to him to apologized.

  • Testcricketistop on December 16, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Posted by Narayan.Shastri on (December 16, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

    Dravid has long been my favovourite Indian cricketer for many reasons, being the silent contributor, calm, humble and a great batsman.

  • Narayan.Shastri on December 16, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    I guess not many South Africans - including his own teammates - see a Rahul Dravid in Hashim Amla. He is the New Wall - The Wall of South Africa. Amla is one batsman who is not a big-hitter, yet keeps scoring runs, and without your realisation, will have silently reached milestone or milestone.

    Amla.. Test 400 please! :-)

  • on December 16, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    You forgot Rahul Dravid and VVS Lazman in your list of contenders!

  • Big_Chikka on December 16, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    definitely up there with the likes of dravid, the great arvinda de silva...........and many others BUT your question was current players and the answer is most probably...........YES!

  • Kassery on December 16, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Great gentlemen of current and recent past cricketers in alphabetical order: Ajmal Amla Chanderpaul Darren Sammy De Villiers Dhoni Dravid M Yousuf Misbah Murali Tendulkar Younis Khan

    Thanks to you all for making this beautiful game so glorious.

  • armchairjohnny on December 16, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    For me, Alvin Kallicharran will never be matched. A Lion on the field, and a true, unpretentious gentleman off the field. He's my role model in cricket and in life. He's worked tirelessly to promote the game and to stamp out prejudice without making any fuss or courting media attention. He has the swagger of a rock star, but he's also humble and down to earth. Without doubt, the most inspirational cricketer I have ever met and it was disgraceful that fire in Babylon had no mention of him.

  • DGReddy on December 16, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Among the contenders how did you miss Rahul Dravid, gentleman of cricket....

  • on December 16, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    How can you not have Rahul Dravid on that list?

  • Drifting on December 16, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Really good article. Amla seems like a great guy, and absolutely awesome batsman. We'll be bowling to him in 3 days. Yeesh.

    In terms of current players, Younis Khan and Misbah ul Haq both come to mind. While I'm not privy to the reputation cricketers maintain among their peers, both men have this dignity about them (albeit they maintain contrasting dispositions). It sort of makes sense, you'd almost have to retain a specific constitution to weather the turbulence that is Pakistan cricket.

    Former cricketers, a really left-field thought - Steve Waugh. The man was a brutal competitor on the field, who clearly said a million horrible things to everyone. But off the field his persona possesses this rare gravitas and compassion. I can't think of another cricketer who could reduce the conquest of Ambrose and Akram and Donald to a footnote in his overall narrative.

  • on December 16, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Well written. I have read a comment saying Sachin is the most respected ever. Well, he really was and is a respectable human being but to me the real thing which goes in favor of Amla is that he earn the respect from fellow cricketers and that too without being flashy and superstar.

    Tendulkar behaved well and one reason could be that he was always under the spot light, even his little action on or off the field will be noticed and people will write about him but on the other hand Amla is doing his business quietly and he has earned this level of respect way quicker than Tendulkar had done.

    Salute to Amla. He really is a gem.

  • vinay_india_cricket on December 16, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Nice article. I guess you could have included VVS Laxman (of the list who have recently retired).

  • ambrosefan on December 16, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    Cant people keep out religion while praising Amla?! Its just annoying. Yes Amla is a nice bloke. my favorites are Dhoni and Sangakkara among current cricketers.

  • Sagarneel on December 16, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Undoubtedly one of the finest batsmen and persons cricket has ever seen. Players like Amla are on the headlines only for the right reasons. A massively likable character, and a rare batsman who is equally successful in all the formats of the game! World cricket today needs many more blokes like him.

  • IndianInnerEdge on December 16, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Fantastic write up Foxy - HA has earned respect with his dignity both on and off thei fields, his fab batsmanship and above all the humility. One can only compare Mike hussey, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble to that list, fierce competitors yet played with the sprit of the game

  • on December 16, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    I think SRT200 sachin tendulkar is most respectful cricketer of all time. MS Dhoni is cool and calm cricketer i have ever seen in any format of Cricket. Amla reminds me off Mohammad Yousaf of Pakistan and both batsmen were run machines with cool cool head and great respect among the peers. Mr. Cricket Hussey was an awesome player and had great great respect through out world. Dravid, Kumble had great respect at the end of the their career. I still think SRT200 is most respectful and humble cricketer of all time not Amla.

  • cricketrocksssss on December 16, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    its absolutely true that he has earned the respect.look at his face very calm and collected and we are forced to respect him not only a wonderful and classy cricketer but also as a human being.We are becoming short of nice human beings on this planet.after him the second best is dhoni for sure,wonderful guy.i am pakistani but i love dhoni as a fantastic human being and as a crickter

  • MarySD on December 16, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Think Dhoni should be on the decent guys list too.

  • SRRY on December 16, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    Let me also add Mike Hussey here. In my mind he deserves special mention, mostly ignored even by his own countrymen. How can anybody fail to notice this angel of a character ?

  • on December 16, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Hats off to you, Michael. This is full of class! Hashim Amla is the most respected cricketer in the game today and will always remain one for a very long time to come. This is such a beautiful piece indeed. Kudos!

  • Michaeljeh on December 16, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Author's note: Rahul Dravid was definitely on my list, as was Anil Kumble but I was trying to restrict it to "current" players. Tendulkar, Hussey and Murali are either stillplaying in some format or very recently retired, hence I left Dravid off that august list. Otherwise, yes, I would have had him right up there.

  • on December 16, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Yes, he is. Certainly. I know we are going to get burnt by his Mandela & Gandhi like non-violent batting movement in this short 2 tests series, but as human being he is finest bloke going around in current generation of players and that is amazing seeing how the young guns who even have little bit of success behave (Kohli, Broad, Watson, Warner alike).

  • kasifdotinfo on December 16, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    I hold a decidedly different opinion from most expressed here - that is, that Amla gets too much praise for what he doesn't do.

    It is generally well and good that Amla seemingly does his best to not ruffle any feathers, but one hasn't only oneself to be concerned about on the cricket field, even if one isn't designated captain. If I was on the other end of the pitch, I'd want my teammate at the non-striker's end or in the slips backing me up with a bit of banter if need be - especially if that teammate happened to be one of the best cricketers around, and therefore one who could rightly throw a bit of weight around when provoked.

    I much prefer Kumar Sangakkara - an even more entertaining and skillful cricketer, a lively and emotional but respectful and respected on-field personality, and a great spokesman for and supporter of the sport and other causes off the field.

  • on December 16, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    no doubt he is the most respective cricketer.

  • on December 16, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    Amla is certainly a fantastic role model. But IMHO, if you're venturing towards 'most respected' it must also include someone who doesn't merely earn it for sporting achievements and behavior on and off the field. It must also include a personality who strives to give back to the game as much, remains involved after during and after the playing years, speaks up for the greater good of the game even if it makes him look bad, helps youngsters find their feet etc. In that respect Hussey, Tendulkar or Shiv are superceded, I dare say, and by some margin - by Rahul Dravid (among men) and Rachel Heyhoe-Flint (among women). Go on, Google the second name .. you'll know what I mean!

  • on December 16, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    As far as nice blokes are mentioned...Dravid shld never be far behind. Amla is Dravid like..Amla has quietly gone about his business and is playing at his peak right now..

  • whensdrinks on December 16, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    As an Aussie I would have to agree. Amla is an ornament to the game and is classy in everything he does both on and off the field.

  • legfinedeep on December 15, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    Hashim Amla is truly a class apart, and a cut above the rest. He does not appeal frivolously, he takes bad decisions in stride, and even his celebrations when he scores big are muted. I would not speak of Tendulkar in the same breath as Amla. Tendulkar is selfish and if he is in the 90s he would slow down to achieve personal milestones. Amla can be on 99 and still take risks. Team above himself always. I would add Dravid to the list of people on this article though. An immense player and true gentleman and servant of the game. I always respected him but do so even more after reading what Paddy Upton had to say about him: " There are few more telling moments than how we treat the 'little' people when no one is watching; people like the restaurant or hotel breakfast waiter, the team bus driver...what would the the tealady, receptionist and janitor at your office say about you? I watched Watson and Dravid thank the bus driver for each journey between the hotel and practice ground..."

  • zackriasait on December 15, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Outstanding batsman in all formats. Aesthetically pleasing and has a great impact on the team. Pure magic as a person. Humility, grace and dignity. Epitomises that to compete successfully one need not stoop to conquer. He has not been offered leadership of SA but AB has been preferred. Obviously the board of SA has its reasons and will be interesting to know what they could have been. Generally leadership is confused with a certain degree of ruthlessness. This Amla can never be. Does it mean he cannot be a leader?

  • on December 15, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    Hashim Amla, Rahul Dravid, Misbah-Ul Haq, Shiv Chanderpaul, Michael Hussey.

  • on December 15, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    His calmness at crease, his humble smile when he achieves a target, his sublime appreciation of his opponents, speaks of his spirituality. It is always a pleasure to watch him play the sport in truest sense. Only recently an outstanding Cricketer from India, Rahul Dravid retired. I want to ask bot Amla and Dravid the secret for their inner strength.

  • Testcricketistop on December 15, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    I am very proud as a South African when I see the example Amla sets not only on the cricket pitch but also in the manner which he leads his life.

    He is a devout Muslim and religion is not only a public image he portrays but influences the way he lives his life. The fact that he told cricket SA that he cannot wear the sponsor's logo on his person and the manner in which they respect his religious beliefs speaks volumes of the respect he holds as an individual.

    He is an example to us all.

  • dinesh.soundarapandian on December 15, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    The most respected player currently, on cricketing terms, is, Kevin Peterson.

  • on December 15, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    For me the finest bloke in cricket is surely Rahul Dravid. No comparison. As Hayden once said, if you want to see real aggressoin, you look into Rahul Dravid's eyes. But that is the full extent of it. He is the probably the most perfect gentleman to have walked down those 22 yards.

  • on December 15, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    I think Amla,AB and Misbah are the most respected players in world today.......

  • on December 15, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Amla is awesome, u cant get a better cricketer and a humble person #Respect There are lots of player, everyone mentioned, but i am sad to see that Jacque Kallis didn't crossed anybody's mind :(

  • Gevelsis on December 15, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    Lovely piece Michael. Suddenly I like you a lot.

  • on December 15, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    Nice article, but a lot more can be said. Amla truly is an inspiration and role model for this generation. Respected among his team and the opponents as well. I am a Pakistani but always love to see him scoring even against Pakistan, this is the level of respect and love that Amla has earned because of his cool and calm character. A true gentle man and and humble personality on and off the field. An other reason for his legacy is his selflessness, may Allah always bless him and help him re,ain consistent (Ameen).

  • on December 15, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    love you hashim , the pride of cricket

  • salmanayaz on December 15, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    What a nice article.I fully believe that Amla is the finest and the humblest cricketer.I can recall the incident which happened some years ago in Sharjah when Dean Jones called Amla as the terrorist .After sometime he apologized and Amla forgave him.Truly a very nice human being.I wish the young cricketers should take him as their role model and bring back the dignity to this great game which is losing its popularity due to some cheap tactics like sledging.

  • on December 15, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    Nice article. Amla is indeed a fine human being and also an excellent batsman. He goes out to the middle and scores runs for his team without getting involved in any sort of controversies. His run-scoring ability is just incredible and he's probably the most consistent batsman in the world right now. South Africa is lucky to have him.

  • on December 15, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    One of the best articles i have read on this web. Amla, Sachin and Lara are the best personalities who managed to keep cricket a gentleman's game. Love you Amla sir :)

  • Fogu on December 15, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    In my opinion Amla is the most respected player currently. Dravid and Inzy are my favorite players of the past in respect to humility. Along with Amla, I respect Shiv and Misbah the most among current crop of players. This list is not just about cricket abilities but about great cricketers who are also great human beings.

  • on December 15, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    His humility and persona came through his upbringing and Islamic teaching. Everyone knows about his religious convictions so actually you are looking at what a true Muslim is all about. Imagine if there was 1.5 billion hashim amla walking around in this world how peaceful it would be.

  • on December 15, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Amla: The most lovable cricketer in the world at the moment. So good,yet so humble! THE cricketer of the year, in my mind.

  • on December 15, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Amla stands apart from others, not only how he carries himself but because he happens to be a team player. His statements after breaking Viv's records shows, he doesn't live to inflate his average, score certain amount of centuries or play purely for personal accomplishment. Dravid is a decent bloke as well but during his tenure with Greg, he played politics with Ganguly's and few senior players career. Somehow, I don't think, the likes of AB or Amla would do something like this.

  • on December 15, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    dravid, amla,mike,adb,misbah, murali etc. are the role model of gentlemen's game. pls don't compare among legends bcpoz there are no comparision among legends.

  • wakaPAK on December 15, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    It's good someone wrote something good about someone good. Good people go unnoticed under the radar and it's our duty to market their image for some more good.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 15, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    I think Amla along with Dravid, VVS and Inzy bhai are the finest men cricket has ever seen. You can't get any better than them. You can only equal them.

  • on December 15, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    I must say that even though India is losing to SA right now, I do like the current crop of SA players. There was one ex SA player who called a kid of Indian descent coolie and that had left a very bad taste in my mouth (Cullinan?). However, the current crop starting with Kallis and Amla are excellent players as well as humble. Steyn even though he is giving the angry young man image is still very likable for someone who is so good at his trade. Will add DeViliers (sp?) in that list too. Note the list is limited to folks who are very good but still manage to be nice.

  • tickcric on December 15, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    The likes of Hashim Amla makes you feel cricket truly is a gentleman's game. As cricket fans we feel proud that we have the likes of Amla, Misbah, Dravid, Tendulkar, and few others like them gracing the game we follow. I have always admired Amla the player and the person. What a graceful personality and what a tremendous batsman! There are other batsmen I will queue before watching him bat like, ABdV, Clarke, Mahela, Bell but he is the one I will love to meet the most. He is the person I will like to listen to or to understand the most in an aprofessional way. In other words he is the cricketer I respect the most as a person... I agree with you.

  • on December 15, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Absolutely wonderful artical. No Doubt! AMLA is the best among all

  • vish2020 on December 15, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    When Amla climbed the mountain to became the nicest bloke, he found Dravid sitting there. David is the finest person ever in cricket. It is great and appreciative to see so many pakistani fans talk about dravid. For us Indians, inzy bhai, misbah and younis are as nice

  • on December 15, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    I am not a south African but i think Amla is a very good human being . Great role model for everyone.

  • on December 15, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    I think you have failed to mention some prominent names like Dravid, Misbah & Younis, these 3 are the cricketers people love the most, not only as cricketers but because they are so humble, down to earth & beautiful human being as well.

  • on December 15, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    AB Devilliers comes to mind as another all round class person and a very good cricketer! Another SA role model perhaps?

  • Khushi_Muhammad on December 15, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Come on Mr Jeh! No mention of Dravid? I think Dravid should top the list of nicest guys in cricket. If there is a vote Dravid will get more votes from Pakistan then India of ourse.

  • MrGarreth on December 15, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    @Ozhorse OMG that was amazing. Where is part 1 though? I love Bob Dylan and how you turned that in to a song about Amla is amazing. I would love to turn that into a song load it onto youtube and hopefully it becomes Hashim's theme every time he walks out to bat

  • on December 15, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    yes no doubt Amla is most respected

  • immi2711 on December 15, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    I am a Pakistani, and although a fan of Amla's demeanor on the field.....BUUUUT, if you ask me, Rahul Dravid is another one that comes to mind, more than Amla, when it comes to calmness and humbleness in cricket....I think he should be given his due, he kind of got lost in Sachin's world....

  • on December 15, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Amla's personality and approach to his respective sport is very similar to the NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon. Both individual and highly respected by their peers. Listen to statements from Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley etc. Great stuff.

  • on December 15, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    amla is a players that dont play for him self but for the team. sure he will remain in the hearts of the fans.

  • on December 15, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Muralitharan ,Rahul Dravid ,VVS, Ali Cook, Hash Amla And Mike Hussey..........finest cricketers and great examples of how to behave yourself on and off the field.Great role models for young kids

  • on December 15, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Though as humble he is off the field and on the field while fielding,with a bat he is an absolute monster.A ruthless slayer ho shreds attacks hen he is on song like Nagpur in 10,Oval in 12 and Perth in 12 .He is brutal and takes the wind out of your sails with his batting.Never thought he would cut it when I saw him make his debut in 04 in India with his weird wide stance and shaky footwork that he would cut it.By the time he came back to SA he was lot still on the crease ,the extravagant wide stance almost a reprise of Clayton Lambert was gone,though still he is the most unorthodox batsman you will ever see.Plays exclusively from crease but with his amazing hands and the way he shifts his weight and most importantly the stillness of his head makes him the super batsman that he is.No wonder South African team's resurgence since 2006 has coincided with an improved Hashim Amla. Brutal batsman better than Hayden since he slaughters you with finesse and class.

  • on December 15, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    One of my favourite and the reason to like SA. A role model for many

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on December 15, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Amla is a favourite of mine too, however I also believe that the Amla way (or the Jeh way) is not the only way.

    To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

  • on December 15, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    When I see him, he always remind me of Mohammad Yousaf and it just not the beard we talking about,,his batting style is so much alike, its amazing,,wished to them playing in same game,,happened in couple of games but alas mindless Ijaz Butt took away that opportunity and Yousaf been sidelined well before his time. Back on Amla,,a very humble and down to earth cricketer,,a complete sportsman and brilliant person. An asset for SA.

  • on December 15, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Amla is destined for greatness. One of my favorite player to watch, along with AB.

  • adnanahmed237 on December 15, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Now, he is the best person on the cricket circuit at the moment!

  • SyedAreYouDumb on December 15, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    He is humble and calm because of his religion if you were wondering but to be calm you must be nice yourself which Amla is doing

  • on December 15, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Wonderful Article.With Unbiased feeling I believe that the Humble nature of AMLA is all the most charming and liked by everyone. Any cricket lover of the present time appreciates his good character. Respecting umpire's decision and respecting the historic former cricket legends is something that not every sportsman possess. It is this quality that makes you on the top of elite group. ASK ANY BOWLER about AMLA's nature, surely you will receive a unique answer that he they respect him.

  • Aravind_Verified on December 15, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    Missed the player who comes top of the list..one and only Rahul Dravid..As micheal vaughan said easily the most respactable cricketer of the last 20 years

  • on December 15, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    Amla is a complete player. Someone, who is capable of scoring runs anywhere, regardless of the surface or conditions. He doesn't need his countries media hyping him because his fellow players and performances say it themselves. In my book from the current lot, Sanga, Amla, Clark, Cook and AB are complete cricketers.

  • on December 15, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    More reasons to follow the South African team :) All the best to Amla and the SA.

  • srikanths on December 15, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    As someone said, Dravid and Laxman too. Keeping that aside, talking of Amla, terrific person, cool, never gets agitated but must be one hell of a competitor, scores runs as if it is his birthright. Never has one seen him show even a trace of resentment against the umpires or decisions or opposition.

  • keerthitommy on December 15, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    you have missed great rahul dravid

  • OzHorse on December 15, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Part 2:

    The Mighty Hash (Hash The Eskimo) (continued...)

    In ODIs not so long ago, Hash was not to be "Will score too slow", "Can't clear the fence" "It ain't his cup of tea" Finally he got his chance, to wear the Protea's green Now Hash the Eskimo, he's number 1. The best that's ever been.

    Come on with flair, come on with dash You'll not see nothing like the mighty Hash

    Let him play how he wants to play, his timing's sugar sweet There's magic in those subtle wrists And there's sparkle in those feet His beard is wild and woolly, but his batting's really neat When Hash the Eskimo's at the crease Everybody's in for a treat

    Chorus.

  • suhail1988 on December 15, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    i would rahul dravid to your list..though!!

  • on December 15, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    One person you missed in the list is Rahul Dravid.

  • on December 15, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Best Batsman in World Cricket .No wonder SA is top with best batsman ,best fast bowler and probably the best all rounder too.

  • Naresh28 on December 15, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    AMLA is a very good, humble cricketer and yes, one of the finest modern. To go with his great technique, wrists, timing etc. A complete batsman. He needs to become SA's opener in tests!!!

  • craigals on December 15, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Great article... And the best thing of all about Amla, is that some of these traits are rubbing off on young Quinton de Kock... the rainbow nation can be proud...

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  • craigals on December 15, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Great article... And the best thing of all about Amla, is that some of these traits are rubbing off on young Quinton de Kock... the rainbow nation can be proud...

  • Naresh28 on December 15, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    AMLA is a very good, humble cricketer and yes, one of the finest modern. To go with his great technique, wrists, timing etc. A complete batsman. He needs to become SA's opener in tests!!!

  • on December 15, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Best Batsman in World Cricket .No wonder SA is top with best batsman ,best fast bowler and probably the best all rounder too.

  • on December 15, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    One person you missed in the list is Rahul Dravid.

  • suhail1988 on December 15, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    i would rahul dravid to your list..though!!

  • OzHorse on December 15, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Part 2:

    The Mighty Hash (Hash The Eskimo) (continued...)

    In ODIs not so long ago, Hash was not to be "Will score too slow", "Can't clear the fence" "It ain't his cup of tea" Finally he got his chance, to wear the Protea's green Now Hash the Eskimo, he's number 1. The best that's ever been.

    Come on with flair, come on with dash You'll not see nothing like the mighty Hash

    Let him play how he wants to play, his timing's sugar sweet There's magic in those subtle wrists And there's sparkle in those feet His beard is wild and woolly, but his batting's really neat When Hash the Eskimo's at the crease Everybody's in for a treat

    Chorus.

  • keerthitommy on December 15, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    you have missed great rahul dravid

  • srikanths on December 15, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    As someone said, Dravid and Laxman too. Keeping that aside, talking of Amla, terrific person, cool, never gets agitated but must be one hell of a competitor, scores runs as if it is his birthright. Never has one seen him show even a trace of resentment against the umpires or decisions or opposition.

  • on December 15, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    More reasons to follow the South African team :) All the best to Amla and the SA.

  • on December 15, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    Amla is a complete player. Someone, who is capable of scoring runs anywhere, regardless of the surface or conditions. He doesn't need his countries media hyping him because his fellow players and performances say it themselves. In my book from the current lot, Sanga, Amla, Clark, Cook and AB are complete cricketers.