AB de Villiers has written a touching tribute to former Proteas teammate Hashim Amla, who announced his retirement from professional cricket this week.
Amla retired from the international game in 2019 but continued to play county cricket in England.
The 39-year-old scored 1,712 runs for Surrey at an average of 48.91 over the past two seasons.
Amla’s form helped Surrey win last year’s Country Championship and his sudden retirement leaves a massive hole in their batting lineup.
Amla was a key batsman for one of the most dominant Proteas teams in history, managing to stand out and excel in batting lineups that included the likes of Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and, of course, De Villiers himself.
After hearing of Amla’s decision to hang up his pads for good, AB wasted no time sharing his thoughts and feelings for his close friend.
“Hashim Amla.. where do I start?! Not easy. Might take me a few days, weeks, months, years. I can literally write a book about you,” De Villiers wrote.
“Humaam, thank you for always being there for me. You’ve always been a brother who made me feel safe in so many ways.
“Your journey wasn’t easy. ‘The guy with the weird technique’. ‘He’ll never last’. ‘He’ll never be consistent’.
“But then, in your own very unique way, you just walked out there, time and time again and just batted, like only you can.
“Calm, composed, consistent, gutsy, skilful and humble, always for the team, for your country. You inspired me in a way I can’t explain.
“So, today, I salute you my friend. You served the game to perfection! We can all learn from that. I did I wish I could bat with you one more time.”