Proteas skippers praise Kallis

Johannesburg - The captains of the South African one-day international (ODI) and Test squads, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, have led the tributes to Jacques Kallis, who announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday.

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De Villiers said Kallis' experience and tactical nous would be missed in the Proteas' environment, along with the professionalism and humility with which he went about his game.

"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 said.

"He has played a big role personally for me since making my debut for South Africa in 2004, and he 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."

Amla said Kallis left a great legacy that many young cricketers could follow.

"Jacques is a legend; sportsmen like him only come around once every five decades," Amla said.

"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."

Proteas coach Russell Domingo thanked Kallis for his unwavering service and dedication to South African cricket.

"It was an unexpected decision but we respect and support him," 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."

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