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Why Kallis can't play Champions Trophy

Jacques Kallis has devoted almost 20 years to South African cricket so it should come as no surprise that his request to be ‘unconsidered’ for the ICC Champions Trophy should have raised so many concerns.

Kallis may have been criticised over the years but nobody has ever suggested he isn’t committed. Tactics and scoring rates are one thing, but the great man has always given his body and soul to the cause. So when he withdrew his name from selection, clearly there was a per cent or two missing from his commitment.

Speaking from India where he is competing for the defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders, in the IPL, Kallis explained to supersport.com why he had chosen to spend time alone rather than accept a place in the Proteas squad for the Champions Trophy which begins in June.

“I would like to finish the IPL tournament by helping to put a smile on the faces of the KKR staff and supporters before taking a bit of a break from the game,” Kallis said.

“I have always committed myself completely to every team I have ever played for – that’s the only way I know. Who knows, if we win every remaining game maybe there’ll be an unlikely mathematical equation which will still allow KKR to reach the playoffs.

“At my age, and stage of career, there are many things to consider outside the game and off the field, and I need to plan and be organised in order to play my best cricket. I simply cannot go through the motions or take up a place in a squad unless it has my full attention. So it would have been unfair of me to accept a place in the Proteas squad for the Champions Trophy next month,” Kallis said.

“I certainly have not given up my ambition of playing in the 2015 World Cup but, right now, my priority is to finish strongly for KKR and then take some time to reconsider my priorities and consolidate!”

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