South African top-order batsman Hashim Amla stumped everybody when he announced his retirement on earlier this month. Once he had announced his retirement, special tributes started pouring in from all corners. India head coach Ravi Shastri also lauded Amla’s career in a wonderful post. Shastri called him an ambassador of the game. “One of the great ambassadors of the great game. A South African cricket GIANT. Humility personified at all times –  God bless,” read Shastri’s post on Amla’s retirement.

Amla may have responded late, but he reacted nevertheless. Amla kept it short and sweet, while also showing respect for Shastri. Amla’s response read, “Many Thanks Ravi sir’.

Amla played 349 matches across the three formats for the Proteas and scored more than 18,000 runs, including 55 centuries and 88 half-centuries.

Amla remains the only South African cricketer to score a triple century in Test cricket. In 124 Tests, Amla scored 9,282 runs at 46.41 with 28 centuries and 41 fifties.

His ODI career was equally successful as he was ranked among the best batsmen in the format, holding the South African record of 27 ODI tons. He was also the quickest to 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 ODI runs.

In 181 ODIs, Amla amassed 8,113 runs at 49.46 with 27 hundreds and 39 half-centuries.

“I learnt many lessons during this incredible ride, made many friends and most importantly shared in the love of a brotherhood called #proteafire. I would like to thank my parents for their prayers, love and support, it is their shadow over me that enabled me to play for years under the Protea sun,” Amla said in an official statement.

“Also, My family, friends and agent, my teammates and every member of the support staff throughout this incredible journey. A heartfelt thank you to every one of you,” he added.