31 July 2014
Jacques Kallis announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on Wednesday, bringing down the curtain on a career which established him as the leading all-rounder of his day, and one of the greatest players of all time.
Kallis retired from test cricket at the end of 2013, but had signalled his intention to compete for a place in the South African team for the 2015 ICC World Cup.
‘A bridge too far’
“I realised in Sri Lanka that my dream of playing in a World Cup was a bridge too far,” Kallis said in a statement.
“I just knew on that tour that I was done. The squad that was in Sri Lanka is an amazing one and I believe they have a good chance of bringing the trophy home in March.
“I would like to thank Cricket South Africa, the team, the team sponsors, my sponsors, the fans and all the people who have been involved in my career. It has been an amazing journey.
“I am not retiring from all cricket as I have a two-year contract with the Sydney Thunder and, if possible, to help the Kolkata Knight Riders defend the IPL title we won earlier this year,” he concluded.
In 2013, Kallis was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year, and he signed off his test career with a 45th century, second only to Sachin Tendulkar in history.
Unmatched and unchallenged
By the sheer volume of his all-round contributions, Kallis is unmatched and unchallenged in the long history of cricket.
He scored 13 289 test runs at an average of 55.37, while with the ball he took 292 wickets at 32.65. In addition, he also claimed exactly 200 catches.
To put those figures into perspective, he finished his test career third on the all-time run scoring list. He is currently 29th on the list of wicket-takers and tied for second with Mahela Jayawardene for the number of catches taken.
During his one-day international career, he tallied 11 579 runs at an average of 44.36, claimed 273 wickets at 31.79, and bagged 131 catches.
Those figures leave him in seventh place among batsmen, 17th among bowlers and sixth among catchers.
‘Jacques is a legend’
South African test captain Hashim Amla said in a statement: “Jacques is a legend. Sportsmen like him only come around once every five decades.
“He is an astute professional who always gave 100 percent for his country and I believe a lot of youngsters coming up can learn a lot from the way he shaped his career. He will be sorely missed in the dressing room, and in the slips where he was a trademark figure.
“It has been a pleasure to have shared the crease with him on a number of occasions, and I wish him well for the future. He has earned his break.”
De Villiers on Kallis
Captain of the Proteas ODI team, AB de Villiers, weighed in: “”His value and statistics on the field speak volumes, but his presence in the change room and willingness to teach the youngsters was immense.
“He has played a big role personally for me since making my debut for South Africa in 2004, and is a huge loss for South African cricket.
“It’s unfortunate that he won’t be making the journey with us to the World Cup, but we will definitely carry his resilience and professionalism with us out on the field.”
‘We respect and support him’
“It was an unexpected decision, but we respect and support him,” Proteas’ coach Russell Domingo said. “I must commend his attitude and professionalism all the way until his last ODI for South Africa in Sri Lanka.
“It has been a pleasure working with him. I always admired his dedication and passion for the game. He will be missed, there is no doubt about that, but hopefully the nation can celebrate one of the greatest cricketers we have produced.”
‘One of the greatest players ever’
Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, commented: “South Africa has been blessed with one of the world’s greatest cricketing talents in Jacques Kallis. He is undeniably one of the greatest players ever to have graced our wonderful game and he has certainly been the Proteas’ standard-bearer of excellence for nearly two decades.
“He has played a huge part in making cricket a truly national sport of winners and, in doing so, contributed so much to the important process of nation building.
“He is a true professional and it has been an absolute privilege to have worked with him both as Convener of selectors and now as Chief Executive.
“To say that we will miss him on the playing field is stating the obvious. Each one of us from this day on will treasure the many fond memories of his awesome career.
“On behalf of CSA and all our stakeholders, I would like to sincerely thank Jacques for his huge contribution to the game of cricket and wish him only the best as he moves on from the international playing arena.”