04 August, 2014

Cricket Legend Retires

Jackson Malatji

Jacques Henry Kallis (born 16 October 1975), a South African cricketer has agreed on Wednesday that his dream of playing in next year's Cricket World Cup was "a bridge too far". He retired from international cricket and will not be playing in the ICC Cricket World Cup that will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand over Feb-Mar 2015.
Kallis’ decision follows his announcement on Christmas Day last year that the Boxing Day test against India at Kingsmead would be his last. One of the best all-rounder in the world, Kallis has been a real ambassador for SA cricket and a real legend of the game, " King Kallis" as he’s known by his fans chose the right time to retire, like all great men he had the audacity to accept that he is now past his peak and for that he will always be saluted.
 He holds the brightest records in all of cricket, having played 166 tests in which he scored 13289 runs, among them 45 centuries, at an average of 55.37. He also took 292 wickets. In 328 one-day internationals, he made 11579 runs at 44.36, had 17 hundreds, and claimed 273 wickets. Kallis appeared in 25 T20 internationals, reaching 50 in five of them and taking four wickets once.
“I realised in Sri Lanka that my dream of playing in a World Cup was a bridge too far,” Kallis was quoted as saying in a Cricket SA statement. “I just knew on that tour that I was done.”
“I am not retiring from all cricket as I have a two-year contract with the Sydney Thunder and, if possible, (I would like) to help the Kolkata Knight Riders defend the IPL (Indian Premier League) title we won earlier this year.” He added.
He scored five runs in three innings in the rubber, and did not bowl because of a back problem. As a matter of facts, he made just one 50 in his last 10 ODI innings. Though his form has been questioned recently,he is unquestionably the greatest South African cricketer of all times. It is not just his statistics that make this claim but the facts that he has represented the Proteas at 5 World Cups and was named Man of the Series when the Proteas won their only major ICC title at the 1998 ICC Champions’ Trophy. He was also named South African Cricketer of the Year in 2011, having previously won the inaugural award in 2004 and was also selected for the ICC Test Team of the Year for 2011 and again in 2012.
Hashim Amla who is now the first South African non-white captain said Kallis left a great legacy that many young cricketers could follow. The 31-year-old batsman has some big shoes to fill because he takes over from Graeme Smith, who stood down in March after holding the post for more than a decade. Smith was captain for more Tests than any other player in the history of the game and achieved the best record among all captains with 53 wins – ahead of Australia’s Ricky Ponting with 48.
"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."
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."
 “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.” Said Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat

An amazing journey he had, Kallis will always be a giant of the game in SA and the world, and it is to his credit that he has been big enough to walk away without, as far as is known, being pushed. Building up to next year’s World cup, who is going to fill the BIG shoes of “King Kallis”. SA play their first game of the World Cup against Zimbabwe in Hamilton on March 15. Looks like Faf du Plessis is likely to replace Kallis at No3 in the batting order, but that decision does not have to be made right now, only time will tell.

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