Former South Africa star Jacques Kallis has announced his retirement from international cricket.
Widely held as one of the most underrated all-rounders of the modern era, Kallis made 162 Test appearances for the Proteas, and played in 325 ODIs.
A South African legend
Cricket South Africa’s chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, hailed Kallis as “undeniably one of the greatest players ever to have graced our wonderful game”. Lorgat went on to describe him as a “standard-bearer of excellence for nearly two decades”.
He had already quit the Test side late last year, but has now also decided to make himself unavailable for ODIs and T20s. That means he will now play no part in the World Cup, which takes place in Australia and New Zealand next year.
The 38-year-old made his debut in 1995, hitting his first century just under two years later. He would go on to score over 13,000 Test runs, along with 292 wickets. His last appearance for the national side came in their recent 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka, and Kallis said it was there that he decided against carrying on.
“I realised in Sri Lanka that my dream of playing in a World Cup was a bridge too far”, he told The Guardian.
The announcement is perhaps unsurprising, considering the number of injury battles he has faced in recent years, having to withdraw from South Africa’s squad for the ICC Champions Trophy last season. In Sri Lanka, he managed just five runs from three ODIs.
Kallis bows gracefully out of a fold that would have been increasingly difficult for a veteran to get into, amid stiff competition.
South Africa are now number one in the world Test rankings, but he leaves the side in the capable hands of newly-installed captain Hashim Amla. His departure is undoubtedly a blow for the Proteas, having lost another legend in Surrey’s Graeme Smith last year.
Kallis not quitting cricket
However, he is not giving up on the game entirely, as he still has a two-year contract with Sydney Thunder. After winning the Indian Premier League earlier this year, he is also looking to make a return to the Kolkata Knight Riders, as they seek to retain their title.
Kallis remains the only player to have scored over 2000 runs and taken more than 50 wickets in the IPL.
He spent part of this season plying his trade with Glamorgan, and has also spent time with Middlesex in the past.