South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Family concern rules Hashim Amla out of final two ODIs
These two games are the Proteas’ final international matches before they play the World Cup.
Updated - Mar 12, 2019 7:11 pm
With over 18,000 international runs, Hashim Amla has been one of South Africa’s most prominent scorers in history. He is the Proteas’ second-highest scorer in Tests, the fourth-highest scorer in ODIs and fifth-highest scorer in T20Is. Yet, despite these rich records, the soon-to-turn 36-year-old batsman hasn’t had luck on his side in the pre-World Cup season owing to an ordinary run, which has even given rise to calls for his ouster.
Amla just made a comeback in the ODI series against Sri Lanka which South Africa have already won. He was rested for the first three matches and was about to play in the remaining rubbers as part of the preparation for the ICC World Cup beginning in May but will now miss them because of his father’s illness, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on the eve of the fourth match in Port Elizabeth on March 13.
Middle-order batsman Reeza Hendricks, who was originally excluded for the last two matches, has been recalled in the place of Amla who had replaced him. “Hashim has asked to be excused from the last two ODIs of the current series against Sri Lanka on compassionate grounds since his father is critically ill. Our thoughts and prayers are with Hashim and his family during this difficult time and we understand that family obligations always come first,” Proteas team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee was quoted as saying by CricBuzz.
He added that CSA always had the plan of using Amla and Hendricks on a rotational basis in the five-match series which the hosts lead 3-0. Hendricks though had an ordinary outing in the series, managing just 34 runs in three innings in the first three games with 29 in the second ODI in Centurion being the highest.
The two games were crucial for Amla
For Amla, who last played in an ODI series in January against Pakistan, the two games were supposed to be crucial to convince the selectors that he is still a force to play in the showpiece event. These two games are the Proteas’ final international matches before they take on England in the opener of the WC at the Oval on May 30. Amla scored 375 runs in his last 10 ODI innings which is far from matching his standards but his last century (108 not out) against Pakistan at home still bolsters a hope about his chances of making it to the WC squad.