What's the story?
Hashim Amla, South Africa’s third highest Test run-getter, is contemplating a move to sign a Kolpak deal, if reports in a leading South African news website are to be believed. The 34-year-old is said to have been approached by multiple English counties for a stint to extend his playing career.
In case you didn’t know…
The South African national side has been afflicted by a steady outflow of players who have taken the Kolpak rule: recently, the likes of Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw, Stiaan Van Zyl and Dane Vilas have given up their international careers to grab better paychecks in English counties.
Recently, Amla’s current teammate, Morne Morkel, was also reportedly plotting a Kolpak move, much to the dismay of former cricketers like Allan Donald, who have implored the South African board to retain the bowler and ‘give him whatever he wants’.
The heart of the matter
Reports emerging from Independent Online (South Africa) have stated that Amla has been approached by multiple cricket counties, including a London club, to forego his international career for a more lucrative deal in England.
Ever since letting go of captaincy after a disappointing tour of India in 2015, Amla has managed just two centuries in Tests. In ODIs, he still averages over 50, and is the fastest to have scored 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 runs in the format.
Amla has previously had County stints with Essex and Surrey.
South Africa will host Bangladesh in two Tests, three ODIs and two T20Is beginning September. As for Amla, he will be captaining the Durban Qalandars in the CSA Global T20 league, the brainchild of the South African cricket board.
Kolpak deals have been the focal point of discussion for the last one year, with several players taking the County route to stabilize their finance and prolong their playing careers. Despite the vehement opposition of Russel Domingo, players like Abbott and Rossouw gave up their international career to get more playing opportunities, something they were not regularly getting for the national side.
Reports on Amla, however, seem to be far-fetched: just recently, he had expressed his hope of playing the 2019 World Cup and has also committed to the Global T20 league, which makes a move to England unlikely.
Despite Amla having a young family to sustain, a move to the County scenery will have to be deliberated upon extensively, for it will bring an abrupt end to his immaculate international record.
It also shows that South African cricket is heading in the wrong direction, and a loss in the form of Amla will be too big a gap to fill for incoming coach Otis Gibson and team.