Jacques Kallis calls it quits after 13 174 test runs

2013-12-25 16:45

Jacques Kallis has called time on his 18-year test career, with tomorrow’s Boxing Day test to be his last test and first-class outing.

Kallis sacrificed the long format to be available for the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, he said in a statement.

The 38-year-old made his test debut in the third test against England at Kingsmead, where he struggled against the pace and swing of Peter Martin, who eventually got him out for a single.

His maiden test century came two years later, a match-saving 101 against Australia in Melbourne. That Durban test though was the first of 165 test matches where he went on to amass 13 174 runs at a healthy average of 55.12.

He only crossed the 200-run barrier in an innings twice, but when the two opportunities came against India and Sri Lanka, he made them count, with his highest test score against the latter coming at his Newlands home ground in the 2012 New Year’s test.

The Pakistan test match of March 2013 was the last time his beloved Newlands saw Kallis in whites. Only Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar have scored more test runs than Kallis.

He now leaves West Indian left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul and Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene as the only remaining players who made their test debuts in the 1990s.

When Kallis could not contribute with the bat, he more than made up for it with the ball. He has taken 292 wickets at an average of 32.93, putting him in the company of test all-rounders such as Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Richard Hadlee.

He will most probably end up as South Africa’s fifth highest wicket taker in test history. He will end his career with the most test caps by a South African player, a record that will be difficult to overhaul considering the minimal number of tests the Proteas play.

Kallis said in a statement he felt he had contributed all he could to the test team and the time was right for him to move on.

“The last two years specifically has been a memorable journey with an exceptional group of cricketers. I am fortunate that I have ended my career among a group of talented cricket but more importantly, friends whom I’ll cherish for years to come,” Kallis said.

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