Hashim Amla, the man began the journey of Indians for South African national cricket team
By Sandy - Feb 23, 2018 5:42 pm
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South African batsman Hashim Amla was the first Indian origin to represent South Africa in international cricket. Despite there are many Indians or Indian origins for long times, specially in Durban, it took a lot of time to represent them for South Africa in international cricket. Aslam Khota, a Lenasia resident, a popular television and radio commentator, recently shared about Indians journey in South African cricket.

Hashim Amla was the first Indian origin to play for South African national team

Lenasia was a formerly racially-segregated Indian township south of Soweto in Gauteng Province at Johannesburg (South Africa). Aslam Khota is living at this place for a long time.

While there were a good number of Indian origin players list available for the national cricket, they were simply unnoticed due to colour racism.

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Talking about the long history of Indian or Indian origin cricketers, Khota quoted according to the Sportstarlive, “There were so many good players back then who would have made the cut but for the policies that were in place. There was Papad Dinanath who scored runs regularly, all while eating poppadums that he kept in his pocket — can you believe that? There was Siddique Conrad, Amien Varaiwa, Hossain Ayoob … the list is long.”

Khota spoke about a story where an Indian origin had performed extremely well in a cricket match but no one had even reported that news. Khota revealed, “Hussain Manack once scored a hundred and took 10 wickets in an innings playing league cricket in England. None of the newspapers wanted to even report it.”

Manack is presently serving as one of South Africa’s selectors.

Khota also spoke about how Hashim Amla’s achievements in cricket helped the other Indians and Indian origins to grow up. He said, “Hashim playing for South Africa is not just a big thing for him or his family. It is the fruit of the labour of many decades when Indians played the game at whatever level they could even though they had no chance of making it to the top. There were always dreams, but those were dashed by the policies of the time. Hashim playing for South Africa, and then going on to be one of the best batsmen in the world is proof — if any was needed — that Indians could playing alongside whites and do just as well as them, if not better.”

Also read: Anil Kumble’s Special Message For South African Spinners

Since Amla opened the gate, Tabraiz Shamsi, Imraan Khan and Keshav Maharaj travelled in the same path and achieved a spot for the South African national team.

Keshav Maharaj

Talking about Keshav Maharaj’s initial struggle, his father Athmanand Maharaj said, “He started as a left-arm medium-pace bowler, but once he converted to spin, I was very hopeful that he could do well. As a wicket-keeper I used to watch spinners closely and I think I understood a thing or two about spin bowling. It was very difficult for us in those days. We had no facilities, no grounds, no infrastructure.”