Kallis bowled us over for 18 years

2013-12-29 14:00

Today, the last Sunday of the year, will be Jacques Kallis’ last Sunday in test cricket.

After 18 years of ploughing a lonely furrow in the hard garden that is test cricket, it is time for him to reap the rewards of retirement.

There is never a right time to say goodbye, but when it comes, it has to be accepted, irrespective of the iffy 2013 form.

Greats like him have always been reliant on their class to come through.

The Newlands faithful have every right to be angry and indignant for not getting to see their favourite son in whites one more time, but Durban, irrespective of its nasty weather, deserved to host Kallis’ final test.

It was here in 1995 where the late Bob Woolmer followed a hunch and selected the 20-year-old prodigy.

Not all legends start their careers with a bang, but a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single run.

Had Kallis been an Englishman, he would have long been knighted for his services

to the game. Compared to the great Sir Ian Botham in terms of runs, the great “Beefy” pales in comparison. In terms of impact

as a bowler, his forte was to hold up an end and rest the strike bowlers.

Any captain would kill to have a holding bowler with more than 290 wickets.

Combine that with 13 000-plus test runs and there is an all-rounder of rare quality.

Kallis is the greatest cricketer South Africa has produced and we have been blessed to experience him in action in our lifetime.

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