Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hashim Amla's Magnificent Triple Century

Hashim Amla became the first South African to score a triple century
 in test cricket today.  He scored 311 runs not out when
South Africa declared on 637 for two.

Comment: When Hashim Amla reached 311 runs against England today at The Oval it reminded me of a one-sided conversation I had with a relative who was a decided Uncle Tom around the time apartheid was falling apart in the early 90s.

He confidently told me that it would take many generations before a "non-white cricketer could rise to the level of white test cricketers in South Africa."  And in so doing he conveniently erased Basil D'Oliveira who left South Africa to play for England in 1960.

I guess my Uncle Tom must be spinning like a rotisserie chicken in his grave about now.

Not only has Amla disproved his apartheid induced prediction but he has done so by becoming one of the best batsmen South Africa has ever produced.

What's more, Amla is also the first to score a triple ton in England in 22 years.

A salute is in order.

Picture Credit
UPDATE (July 23, 5:22pm SA time):  South Africa has taken a one-nil lead over in England with a very convincing win.  There may be a change in the order of world test rankings on the cards.  I certainly hope so. See "Proteas seal crushing victory" (July 23).  For more on Amla's feat see "Amla hits triple ton" (July 23).


Tony said...

You are right about Basil D'Oliveira, and we should not forget about the many, many other non-white cricketers that were equal to or better than D'Oliveira, who simply did not have the presence of mind to play overseas. It simply may not have occurred to them, they may have and family commitments, financial constraints.....whatever the reason, there were many who could have made the national side were so obviously excluded from fulfilling their potential.

Well done Hashim Amla, not only has he produced a brilliant score, but it is the best of ANY South African batsman.

I think I heard about your old Uncle Tom.....apparently his ghostly friends call him "Spinner Tom".

Ridwan said...

Hi Tony:

You are absolutely right about remembering those who fell short of their potential because of apartheid.

I think it true for all sport codes during apartheid and, well, just about any arena where people of color were structurally oppressed.

It all makes me wonder just how many folks passed over the decades who could have made great contributions to humanity in general were it not for apartheid.

Hashim Amla's feat is great no doubt and made greater when one contextualizes our despicable racist history.

And I like that he is so centered and humble - remember when that Australian commentator referred to him as "a terrorist"somewhere in 2007?

Amla did not dignify his racist crap with a response - admirable huh?

As f*cked up as South Africa may be today, the simple truth is that it was worse under apartheid.

Much worse.

Last night I watched a news program on TV where three doctors performed surgery on an unborn baby right here in Mzansi.

Two of the doctors were not white. The mother was white and she put her life and her unborn baby's life into their hands.

Not even two decades ago this would have been a remarkable story about race in apartheid terms.

Today it is a remarkable story about three specialists who performed miracle-like surgery on a baby who went on to be born without any longterm complications.

I like this time much better; we are all just human.

Peace boet,