Image courtesy of: Sydney Morning Herald
The end of an era is upon us.
South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis has announced that he will retire from Test cricket following the second Test against India in Durban, which gets underway tomorrow.
Kallis added that he will still continue playing limited overs cricket for South Africa as he has a burning ambition to represent them at the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, with Australia around the corner and the success this team is enjoying, but I feel the time is right,” Kallis said via a statement. “I don’t see it as goodbye, I still have a lot of hunger to push South Africa to that World Cup in 2015 if I am fit and performing. The last two years specifically have been a memorable journey with an exceptional group of cricketers. 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.”
Kallis made his international debut in 1995 and has represented South Africa in 165 Test matches, where he has scored 13,174 runs, which includes 44 centuries and 58 half-centuries, at an astounding average of 55.12.
Kallis is fourth on the all-time list of most runs scored in Test cricket.
He has also taken 292 Test wickets at a respectable average of 32.53.
South Africa head coach Russell Domingo stated that it will be hard to find someone suitable enough to replace Kallis as he has been a source of inspiration in the dressing room for over a decade.
“The impact Jacques has made on South African cricket has been immense, not just as a player but as a human being,” Domingo said. “I’m 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’s chief executive Haroon Lorgat branded Kallis as the “Rock of Gibraltar”, stating that he had rescued the team from sticky situations on numerous occasions throughout his illustrious career.
“He has been a stalwart for many years and South Africa’s recent triumphs and greatness have been built around him,” Lorgat added. “He is a legend and his statistics speak volumes.
“Jacques has been ever present for the Proteas in the past 18 years and it is fitting that his final Test should be on the same ground as the one on which he made his debut against England back in 1995.”