Hashim Amla has pulled out of the Cape Cobras squad for the remainder of the CSA T20 Challenge.
"I have opted not to make myself available for selection for the Cape Cobras for the remainder of the CSA T20 Challenge," read a statement released by Amla. "I express my sincere gratitude to the Cobras coaching staff and team for the game time over the last three weeks, given the circumstances."
Cobras have one remaining round-robin game against Dolphins at Kingsmead on Sunday. They are currently placed second after having lead the pack for much of the competition, with a home semi-final at stake in their final game.
Amla opted to play in the competition instead of seeking a short-term opportunity with a county side, as Aiden Markram has, in order to be closer to his father, who has been seriously ill for some time, while also securing vital game time as he works through a spell of poor form.
Amla briefly left the Cobras squad to return to Durban to be at his father's side last week. The game he missed - against Knights in Bloemfontein - was in any case abandoned without a ball bowled due to inclement weather. Amla subsequently returned to the team for their matches against Titans and Lions, scoring 3 and 10.
While Cobras have enjoyed significant success - winning five matches - Amla's own returns from the eight games he has played in have been modest. He has scored 92 runs at a strike rate of 83.63 with a top score of 32, showing only brief flashes of the sort of batting that has built his formidable reputation over the years.
Despite his struggle for form over the last year, Amla was named in South Africa's World Cup squad. In just over two weeks, the South African squad will assemble for a pre-tournament team camp before departing for the World Cup, and Amla wants to "use the remaining time before the World Cup to fine-tune my batting."