Jacques Kallis has revealed that the timing of his retirement from all forms of cricket was the correct decision - and not an instinctive action - despite the fact that he will now not play any part at next year’s World Cup.
The former South Africa all-rounder played his last international fixture in July, having previously announced his ambition to play in Australia and New Zealand at the beginning of 2015.
But despite his absence from the side that will travel down under for the prestigious tournament, Kallis believes that the Proteas can shake off their label as “chokers” and have a chance of lifting the trophy for the first time.
Kallis finally called it a day after the three-match ODI series with Sri Lanka earlier this year. He ended with individual scores of 0, 1 and 4, but amassed more than 11,000 runs at an average of 44 in 50-over cricket.
His final Test match was in December 2013 but it was initially thought that the 38-year-old would continue playing limited-overs cricket until the culmination of next year’s World Cup.
That didn’t turn out to be the case, though, and the decorated player departed the global stage after procuring 62 centuries and taking 577 wickets in all formats of international cricket.
World Cup challenge
Kallis’ retirement, coupled with that of Graeme Smith, means that South Africa’s task to win their maiden World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be made even more difficult.
Yet the Proteas legend believes that AB de Villiers’ side can mount a serious challenge at next year’s tournament.
Speaking in an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Kallis said: "Somewhere along the line I can guarantee you South Africa will win a World Cup and the way the team is playing at the moment, there's no reason it can't be the one coming up."
The 38-year-old doesn’t have any regrets with the timing of his retirement and feels that it was the right call.
He added: "I have always said the day I wake up and I don't have that feeling of wanting to play international cricket, I'll call it quits and that's exactly what happened.
"I was always going to be honest with myself about that. It would have been nice to get through to the 2015 World Cup but I'm certainly not going to play if I am even 1% off from where I should be for international cricket."
Those typically-high standards will be missing from the squad that travels down under after Christmas but South Africa must consider themselves amongst the favourites to win the competition.
The Proteas are currently ranked second in the ICC ODI standings, level on ranking points with India. They have been drawn into Pool B, where they will play India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and United Arab Emirates.
With the top two ranked batsman in the world in their ranks - De Villiers and Hashim Amla - the South Africans will certainly be a tough prospect in the competition but they will have to lose their tag of a team that always fails to fulfil their potential at major cricketing tournaments if they are to be victorious.