The Proteas are fast sinking in India, but the team has found backing in South African batting great Hashim Amla.
“It’s time for rebuilding of the South African team,” said Amla during the Abu Dhabi T10 League draft.
When asked if he would reconsider his decision and come out of retirement, given the fact that he is still fit and actively participating in professional cricket, Amla said: “No, I don’t think I will do that.
“As I said earlier, I have enjoyed my journey with the South African team and I am really happy with my decision. It’s time for youngsters.
“A few of us who have played for almost 10 years have walked away from the international scene. So it was always going to happen that the team will take time to rebuild.
“If you look back, all teams go through a transitional phase and we are going through that,” said Amla, who remains the only South African cricketer to score a triple century in Test cricket.
While the South African bowling has been toothless, the performance of the batting group has been equally concerning.
“Given the backing and support and confidence of the current players the team will find its feet again and be a quality team. As it is they are,” Amla said, reassuring South African fans that a fightback is round the corner.
Youngsters need time
Amla, however, believes that the youngsters should be given time.
“International experience is such a thing that you can only get that type of knowledge after two or three years. You’ve got to afford those players the time,” said the South African who scored more than 18,000 runs across formats with 55 centuries in 349 matches.
Wednesday night saw a constellation of cricketing stars descending here for the players draft and Karnataka Tuskers roped in Amla as its icon player.
“I grew up watching all the legends present here. The lovely thing about T10 is that you cannot afford to leave a ball outside off-stump. You have to hit every ball. It is mind-boggling to have a 90-minute match,” Amla said.
(The writer is in Abu Dhabi at the invitation of the Abu Dhabi T10 League)