Senior batsman Hashim Amla has been lauded in South Africa as a role model after he achieved the number one status in the ICC rankings in both Tests and one day internationals recently.
The Indian origin cricketer, Amla is the first batsman to hold the title of best batsman in the world in both Tests and ODI's since former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
"We congratulate Hash (Amla) on his fantastic achievement. He is a fabulous example to our youth, our country and the world in general," said Alan Norton, Amla's former coach at Durban High School, where his talent was first identified.
Faeez Jaffar, president of KwaZulu Natal Cricket Union said: "Hashim's success can only be attributed to his hard work, his dedication, his passion for the game and not forgetting his humility.
"Hashim has become the benchmark for all Sportsmen and Women in South Africa," said Jesse Chellan, CEO of KwaZulu Natal Cricket Union.
"He has achieved global success and recognition within cricket. This is an incredible achievement in itself, but equally important, it is the manner in which he conducts himself on and off the field. He is worthy of the tag of 'role model' and 'hero' to our next generation of cricketers and sport stars," Chellan added.
But in his typical humble style, Amla preferred to pass the credit to other members of the Proteas for their successes of the past year, singling out Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn as 'tireless workhorses' who inspired the rest of the team.
Amla was on the ICC shortlist for Cricketer of the Year in both 20111 and 2012.