South Africa news April 18, 2013

Ahmed Amla retires from cricket


Ahmed Amla, the Dolphins and KwaZulu-Natal batsman, has announced his decision to retire from all cricket. His agent said Amla was retiring to focus on his studies and pursue business interests.

Amla, 33, is the older brother of South African batsman Hashim Amla, although the two have had vastly different cricket careers. Ahmed never earned an international cap, although he hovered close to it through much of his career.

He made his first-class debut in 1997, at the age of 18, for Natal B. That season, he was picked in the South African Development XI that toured Namibia, and in the next season for the South African under-19 team. That earned him a spot at the national academy and helped establish himself as a regular in the Kwa-Zulu Natal provincial, and later Dolphins, franchise team, which he also captained for some time.

In the 2004-05 season, when the domestic franchise system was formed, his batting average reached 40 for the first time. He lifted it to 48.27 the next summer, when he was probably closest to playing for South Africa. With competition for places high, he had to settle for leading the South African A side, for whom he made numerous appearances.

Amla career did not take off as his brother's did and did not reach the highs of that season again. He remained an important part of the Dolphins batting, especially as he was one of their most senior players. His mentorship skills were also put to use in Mozambique, where he was a consultant for their national side.

This season he struggled to make the franchise team and had to settle for playing in the second-tier provincial division. With the knowledge that he was keeping out younger players, Amla chose to pull down the curtain on his playing career.

He may not be lost to the sport altogether. He has been on commentary stints with the national broadcaster, SABC, and may yet further his coaching ambitions. He is also studying towards a business degree.

Hashim Amla led the tributes to his brother. "Special special congrats to my bro @ahmedamla retiring from all cricket today.wonderful player n more so an amazing person," he tweeted. "@ahmedamla thx 4being a pillar of support throughout my entire career.will mis u on d field bro.time 4the backyard games 2resume."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad faizel on April 19, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Apart from your cricketing abilities you are a true gentlemen, May Allah open up many doors for you Insha-Allah ameen. Kingsmead would definately not be the same anymore. The beauty of life is that nothing last forever. Take care

  • des on April 19, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Best wishes for the future. At least he knows how Steve Waugh feels, to have a slightly more talented younger brother! ;)

  • adeel on April 19, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    sometimes its not meant to be. had he been selected for the national side then, i'm sure he'd done very well and would still be part of the team. imagine two Amlas tormenting the bowlers around the world. none the less hats off to the Amla senior for the decision to move on instead of clinging to the side even though he is still very young at 33yrs age.

    other older players still clogging up the spots in the national side around the world take note on how to bow out the game with dignity and respect from all cricketing world.

    all the best bro :)

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    Thanks for the entertainment. All the best.

  • Tim on April 18, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    I am somehow reminded of those other famous Natal bro's Chris and Robin Smith. All of the best to Ahmed

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    OL MAN AMLA can be proud of his sons.So Hashim you carry the bat now and up the game.Wishing you all the best.

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    Alles van die beste ... Big Brother can go into business manufacturing and marketing the Hashim Pipe..

    Are there any orders from England & Australia to puff the Hashim 311 pipe

  • Dip on April 18, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    An excellent sportsman, an excellent Cricketer, an excellent coach and an excellent human being....................... Mozambican National Team is grateful to have him as a coach for WCL Div 2 ICC Africa tournament. We sincerely hope that he continues to assist Mozambican Cricket Development program.

  • Farrukh on April 18, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Best of luck ..............for both Amla brothers