Real Madrid have made a habit of European success down the years, winning the ultimate prize more times than any other club, and in 2017 they did what no one else could.

But June 3, 2016 will be remembered by many for contrasting reasons, as Muhammad Ali – one of the greatest athletes ever – died, leaving the sporting world in despair.

This day is also notable for South African cricket, and specifically an historic captaincy announcement.

We take a look at the major sporting events to have happened on this day through the years.

2017 – Los Blancos continue their European reign

When Real Madrid and Juventus went head-to-head in Cardiff for the 2017 Champions League final, the omens appeared to be in favour of the Old Lady – no team had ever defended their title in the competition.

But Madrid are no ordinary club and history was theirs in Wales, as they became the first club to retain the Champions League.

Although Mario Mandzukic cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's well-taken 20th-minute opener with an outrageous over-the-shoulder volley, Madrid romped to a 4-1 victory in the second half.

Casemiro's deflected long-range effort put them back in front, Ronaldo turned in from close range to increase the deficit and Marco Asensio finished Juve off after brilliant work from Marcelo – they would go on to win the competition for a third successive season the following year.

2016 – Sport loses an icon

Arguably the most iconic boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, died exactly four years ago.

His achievements in the ring were plentiful, Ali's most famous victories came in the Thrilla in Manila (1975) against Joe Frazier, and the Rumble in the Jungle (1974), in which he stunningly defeated George Foreman. The latter attracted an estimated one billion TV viewers.

Ali was renowned for his charisma, showmanship and quick wit, while he also wrote poetry and enjoyed success as a musician.

However, his impact as an activist is what he is best remembered for by many. Ali was stripped of his heavyweight titles after refusing to be drafted to the Vietnam War in 1966 and spent over three years away from the ring as he fought his conviction for draft evasion, which was overturned in 1971. His stance saw him grow into an inspirational figure in the civil rights movement.

He succumbed to Parkinson's syndrome in 2016, 32 years after making his diagnosis public. He continues to be regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated athletes in history.

2014 – An historic appointment for South African cricket

With Graeme Smith recently retiring from international cricket, in June 2014 South Africa made an historic appointment for his replacement as Test captain.

Batsman Hashim Amla got the nod despite many suspecting AB de Villiers – Smith's deputy – to have been the leading candidate for the role.

Durban-born Amla, who is of Indian descent, became South Africa's first non-white permanent Test captain in the process.

Amla retired from all forms of international cricket in August last year following the Cricket World Cup.

1999 – Malone named NBA MVP again

After a stellar 1998-99 season, Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz claimed the Maurice Podoloff trophy as he was named NBA MVP.

It was the second time he claimed the prize, making him – at that point – only the ninth player in NBA history to win it more than once, having also been a standout star two years earlier.

In 1998-99, which had a shortened calendar due to a lockout, Malone averaged 23.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists as the Jazz went 37-13, but the San Antonio Spurs ended the season victorious.

Christopher Henry Gayle is arguably the greatest One-Day International batsman the West Indies has ever produced but today his innings in the Ultimate XI ODI edition came up short.

Gayle had, yesterday, avoided the cut and made the final six among contestants vying for the honour of being one of the two best openers the game has ever seen.

According to the SportsMax panel of experts, Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar would form the greatest partnership the game to ever grace an ODI cricket pitch.

That would leave other greats like South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Sri Lankan legend Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar, and, of course, Gayle as bystanders.

According to the SportsMax Zone, Sharma and Tendulkar are also the best it could come up with from the shortlist of 12, of course, the Zone did not do the culling of the herd the panel did yesterday.

For the unitiated, Rohit Sharma has scored as many ODI double hundreds as there are people who have scored them, while Tendulkar is by far and away, the heaviest ODI runscorer in the history of the sport and their picks may be hard to disagree with.

Unless, of course, you’re a Fanalyst.

Fanalysts have, so far, chosen Chris Gayle as one of their two openers and have also disagreed with the choice of Tendulkar to be the man to join him, instead going for Sharma.

Tendulkar, is at this point, the reserve option for the Fanalysts, but that could all change.

Have your say in the conversation by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner, or following the link here.

Regarded as one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time, South Africa’s Hashim Amla currently holds the record for being the fastest ever to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs. He also became the fastest cricketer to reach 10 ODI centuries.

His ODI history is a repository of records.

Having made his debut against Bangladesh in March 2008, Hamla quickly established himself as a class above the rest and by 2014, he had become the fastest cricketer to reach 15 ODI centuries, doing so in 86 innings.

That year he also became the fastest cricketer to reach 16 centuries, achieving the feat in his 94th ODI inning and fastest cricketer to 17 centuries in ODIs in his 98th innings.

On January 18, 2015, he became the fastest cricketer to score 18 centuries in ODIs in his 102nd innings. He was also the fastest to 20 ODI centuries.

Amla has scored ODI centuries against all Test-playing countries and is only the fourth person to do so.

 

Career Statistics

Name: Hashim Amla    

Born: March 31, 1983, Durban, Natal

Major teams: South Africa, Barbados Tridents, Cape Cobras, Derbyshire, Dolphins, Essex, Khulna Tigers, Kings XI Punjab, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa XI, Trinbago Knight Riders, World-XI

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

 

ODI Career: (2008-2019)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS     Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           4s           6s              

181         178          14          8113      159    49.46     9178        88.39          27           39           822          53  

 

Career Highlights

  • Fastest to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs
  • Fastest to 25 ODI centuries
  • 1st South African to score 25 centuries in ODIs
  • 4th cricketer to score 25 centuries in both Test and ODI cricket

Former South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has signed a two-year Kolpak deal with Surrey.

The prolific batsman retired from international cricket in August and has since been linked with a return to The Oval - where he spent spells in 2013 and 2014.

Surrey on Tuesday confirmed the 36-year-old, South Africa's second-highest Test run scorer, will join Morne Morkel at the county for the next two seasons.

Amla said: "Surrey are one of the most established and accomplished cricket clubs in the world and I am very excited to be joining them again while also not forgetting the opportunity to play alongside my good friend Morne Morkel again.

"I was part of the Surrey team in 2013 and 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed myself during those stints, so to rekindle that relationship for a longer period is something that excites me.

"I'm really looking forward to working with Alec Stewart and the rest of his team."

Surrey director of cricket Stewart added: "With several of our players now in or around the international set-up, the opportunity to bring Hashim back to Surrey was too good to ignore.

"His record speaks for itself and we know from his previous spells here that he will be an excellent resource for all of our players to learn from both on and off the field."

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