Kallis calls it a day

2014-07-31 00:00

TIME has been called on one of the great international cricket careers of all time.

Jacques Kallis, who was a pillar or reliability in the Proteas Test and ODI sides for nearly 20 years, announced his retirement from international cricket yesterday.

The sun has set on what can only be described as a glittering career and even that is a bit too clichéd. Perhaps there are no words that can really paint the picture of a monumental figure in South African and world cricket. He was huge, massive and best of all, he was and will always be ours, a Protea, a South African.

That youngster from Wynberg Boys’ High School has carved his name for eternity into the cricket record books and annals of the game around the world. His name is etched on honours boards at most major cricket grounds around the world, although Lord’s is not there, as he never clicked there and never made a century at the Home of Cricket.

As a blond youngster who still had a decent mop of hair, he made his first class debut in 1994/95 for Western Province B and was soon in the senior side. It was clear to see there was more than something special about him and the cricket world is all the richer for his contribution and being a part of it.

His Test farewell against India in Durban at the end of last year was a modern-day fairy-tale. He grafted his way to his 45th Test century and signed off in front of a disappointing crowd. Those who were not there to witness his exit from the top echelon of his chosen sport had missed a trick and will always remain the poorer for it.

He did want to continue playing One-Day cricket, with an eye on next year’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. A World Cup win is another blank space in his CV, never to be filled. He played in the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka earlier this month, making five runs in three innings. The once impregnable foundations were wobbling and there were calls for him to call it a day.

That has now happened, the man himself acknowledging the effort and the tour was one hurdle too high to conquer. His World Cup dream will never be realised, but such is the nature of cricket, his achievements and statistics will resonate from the highest peak of the game for years, possibly centuries.

In the modern game, he was a colossus. No wicket was prized more by the opposition, no wicket valued more as he made the opposition work for what they wanted. Kallis too, had to work for what he achieved. He was no natural stroke maker, but he put in the yards, always wanting more, wanting to be better. His crowning moment was in 2003/04, when he reeled off five successive Test centuries, four against the West Indies and the fifth against New Zealand.

It’s fair to say, he was the most valued player in the modern game. Batting aside, he bowled decent medium pace and at slip, pouched everything that came his way. His guard of honour from the Indians as he walked out at Kingsmead for that final Test innings, spoke volumes for a man and player respected worldwide. And he remains a decent, humble man who, in his own words, “just played the game the best I could”.

Kallis will, however, continue to play T20 cricket for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash in Australia.

Take a bow Jacques Kallis, and stand tall. Cricket salutes you and the cricket world thanks you.

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Kallis Stats

Tests: 166

Balls Faced 28 903

Runs 13 289

Highest Score 224

Average 55,37

Strike Rate 45,97



Wickets 292

BBI 6-54

BBM 9-92

Avg 32,65

Economy Rate 2,82

Strike Rate 69,2

Catches 200


Matches 328

Balls Faced 15 885

Runs 11 579

HS 139

Avg 44,36

Strike Rate 72,89



Wickets 273

BBI 5-30

Average 31,79

Economy Rate 4,84

Strike Rate 39.3

Catches 131


Matches 25

Balls Faced 558

Runs 666

HS 73

Avg 35,05

Strike Rate 119,35


Wickets 12

BBI 4-15

Avg 27,75

Econ 7,23

Strike Rate 23

First Class:

Matches 257

Runs 19 695

HS 224

Avg 54,10



Catches 264

Wkts 427

BBI 6-54

Avg 31,69

Econ 2,79

Strike Rate 67,9

List A (Limited Overs):

Matches 424

Runs 14 845

HS 155*

Avg 43,53



Catches 162

Wts 351

BBI 5-30

Avg 30,68

Econ 4,72

Strike Rate 38,9.

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