What else is there left to say about Hashim Amla’s knock at the Oval against England this weekend?
Very little. It has all been said already. My early read has Firdose Moonda saying it best so far, but that could easily change.
Forget all of the speculation about whether he was fasting for Ramadan or not, forget all the talk about how the pitch is a road (it’s not, just ask Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, and Kevin Pietersen), at the end of the day: this was everything I love about cricket, wrapped up in a nice little package.
Like Cloud Cult sang once: it was “like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July making love in the snow.”
This 29 year old, quiet, devout young man walked out onto a ground 10,000 miles from his home, that was built 148 years before he was born, and on a perfect July weekend on the far edge of the world’s greatest city, simply batted for 790 minutes, just a hair over 13 hours, scoring 311 runs along the way.
He only left the pitch when his captain said “enough.”
It was elegant, it was peaceful, it was everything I love about cricket.
Again, there just isn’t a whole lot more to say.
There are times when sport transcends itself. When moments are pure and the athletes poets. These happen very rarely. But one happened today in London. And the 25,000+ at the Oval knew and understood what they were seeing: as evidenced in the massive standing ovation they gave the man that was burying their team.
Even his opponents on the England team cheered for the South African. It was a remarkable moment. I get goose-bumps just thinking about it.
The series might have already achieved its zenith. I can very well see South Africa riding on Hashim Amla’s big beautiful wave all the way to a 3-0 white wash. In fact, it is already happening, just ask Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, and Kevin Pietersen.
Hashim Amla, cricketer: