Durban: South Africa’s legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis will retire from Test cricket after the second Test against India starting at Kingsmead here Thursday. Kallis, 38, however, will be available for the shorter formats of the game.
Commenting on his decision, the veteran of 165 Test matches said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to have been part of the South African Test team since making my debut 18 years ago. I have enjoyed every moment out in the middle but I just feel that the time is right to hang up my Test whites.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to come to, especially with Australia around the corner and the success this team is enjoying, but I feel that I have made my contribution in this format.”
Kallis made his Test debut as a young and humble 20 year-old, and finishes his Test career as one of the greatest cricketers to have played the game. His statistics speak volumes for the illustrious career – 13,174 runs, 292 wickets and 199 catches.
“The last two years specifically have been a memorable journey with an exceptional group of cricketers,” Kallis said. “I am fortunate enough to have ended my Test career amongst a group of talented cricketers but more importantly, friends whom I will cherish for years to come.
“I don’t see it as goodbye because I still have a lot of hunger to push South Africa to that World Cup in 2015 if I am fit and performing.
“Winning an IPL title with the Kolkata Knight Riders was a special achievement, and I am still determined to taste that success with South Africa at an ICC event.”
Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, says the team will miss Kallis’ presence in the dressing room.
“The impact Jacques has made on South African cricket has been immense, not just as a player but as a human being. Im not sure we will ever see another player of that stature very soon.
“Jacques calmness, maturity and presence in the change room will sorely be missed and hopefully he will still be able to play a role in this team’s success in the near future.
“He has ambitions of playing in the 2015 World Cup and it will be important for us to manage him accordingly so that he is in prime form leading into the tournament.”
Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat commented: “Although we all knew the retirement of a great player like Jacques Kallis was going to happen sooner rather than later, his decision still comes as a blow when the reality dawns that South Africa’s greatest ever player and arguably the world’s best all-rounder, will be playing his last Test match in this last week of 2013.”