South African cricketer Hashim Amla has been awarded prestigious Order of Ikhamanga, a national award in the African nation.
The award is given primarily to exemplary talent in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sports.
Hashim Amla becomes the first cricketer in the last ten years to receive this award.
Chancellor of National Orders, Dr Cassius Lubisi has revealed that Amla is being honoured,
“For his contribution to the sport of cricket. He has brought pride to our country with his many batting firsts in the international cricket arena and remains one of the leading batsmen of our time.”
The 35-year old is still the only triple centurion in Test Cricket for South Africa. He is also the second highest Test century maker and the most centuries holder in ODI cricket for his nation. He has also been a very active player for South Africa across the formats.
Only Three Active Cricketers Were Awarded Order of Ikhamanga
Order of Ikhamanga was given to Shaun Pollock during his playing days. The pace bowler was the highest wicket-taker in Test Cricket for South Africa. Also, Makhaya Ntini was also honoured in 2008, as he was the first black player to play Test cricket.
Hashim Amla is only the third active cricketer ever to receive this award.
Hashim Amla is part of the golden generation in South Africa. Chances are more likely that next summer he will be playing his final World Cup in England. He along with the likes of Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers bore the brunt of the batting burden.
The trio had been their reliable players over the past decade. All three could be playing their last World Cup next year. They will be determined to finish their careers on a high.
However, the future of South African cricket is still not secure with not many promising young batsmen coming through the youth ranks.