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Cricket | South Africa

Jacques Kallis © Gallo Images

FEATURE: Kallis, the King of cricket

South Africa's amazing all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on Wednesday, after a low-key ODI performance in Sri Lanka.

Kallis retired from tests in December 2013, but remained available for selection for the 50-over format, mainly to realise his dream of playing in the 2015 World Cup in the Antipodes.

On December 30, 2013, Kallis was carried on the shoulders of his teammates, and in the hearts of cricket lovers, after his 166th and final test for the Proteas in Durban.

Pollock on Kallis
Twitter Tributes
Kallis post-match quotes


Jacques Kallis was never one for displays of emotion or grand speeches. Instead, he preferred to move quietly, even serenely, through an 18-year test career that established him as arguably the greatest allrounder of cricket's modern era.

His expressions were mostly concealed by his helmet while batting or by his sunglasses and trademark wide-brimmed sun hat when South Africa was fielding. On the occasions when he scored one of his 44 test centuries or took one of his nearly-300 wickets before announcing his retirement earlier this week, he would flash his toothy grin in acknowledgement or raise an arm up in celebration.

In interviews, the broad-shouldered allrounder who could dominate bowlers with seemingly effortless cover drives and bounce out the best batsmen with fierce, heavy short balls was surprisingly soft-spoken.

Celebrating a legend
- Career in Pics

For much of his career, Kallis was strangely never adored in South Africa the way Sachin Tendulkar was in India or Don Bradman was in Australia. And yet his worth to his country's test team over his career has been just as valuable, perhaps more.

South Africa will miss him now.

It was Kallis' introspective approach that probably didn't always win over the supporters, but his teammates and opponents rated his value as a player and a person as priceless. And his achievements spoke volumes.

He scored match-winning hundreds and took partnership-breaking wickets in abundance, and buckets of test catches as one of the most dependable slip fielders in the game.

Only Tendulkar has made more test centuries. And when it came to batting allrounders, no one could touch Kallis for his additional contribution with the ball. His batting average is better than the "Little Master" Tendulkar and his bowling average on a par with front-line quicks such as England's James Anderson and India's Zaheer Khan.

"Although we all knew the retirement of a great player like Jacques Kallis was going to happen, his decision still comes as a blow when the reality dawns," Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo paid tribute, more than anything, to Kallis' influence in the dressing room, revealing a lesser-known side to a player who was sometimes criticised, unfairly, for playing slowly and selfishly.

"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," Domingo said.

For a player who rarely was animated on the field, Kallis' influence on those around him was immense, and he seemingly didn't need many words to exercise it. When he did speak, it was often in a manner that was understated, incisive and, crucially, valuable.

Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock recently told a story about a Kallis comment in the dressing room after South Africa had conceded a then world-record 434 runs to Australia in a limited-overs international at Johannesburg's famously high-scoring Wanderers ground.

As the South Africans trudged into the dressing room desperately downcast, Kallis said: "Right, the bowlers have done their job, they're 10 runs short," Pollock recalled. The mood was instantly lightened, Pollock said, and South Africa won the game by scoring a new-record 438 in what is widely considered the best ODI game ever.

Kallis' teammates paid glowing tribute on social media following his retirement announcement, praising him as the best cricketer ever, South Africa's best sportsman and a "legend" of the game.

Batsman Faf du Plessis wrote: "What an honour sharing a changeroom with the greatest cricketer of all time." Captain Graeme Smith even expressed his brotherly "love" for Kallis.

In typical fashion, Kallis didn't immediately post any messages about his retirement, happy instead to let his wondrous achievements - and others - do most of the talking.

There was one comment from Kallis in the statement announcing his upcoming retirement after his 166th test that stood out, though: "I feel that I have made my contribution in this format."

In his own way, that summed it up perfectly.

Gerald Imray, AFP


Shaun Pollock always understood the role between sports stars and the media more wisely than most of his contemporaries, so it came as no surprise when he agreed to dozens of requests for interviews on his former teammate, Jacques Kallis. And suggested they should be conducted together. ‘Polly’ was congenial, accommodating, amusing, effusive in his praise and, typically, unconditionally honest when he spoke to a large gathering of press people shortly after Kallis reached 50 in what will almost certainly be his final innings in test cricket:

“The first time I came across Jacques, he’d come back from a tour of Australia. He had gone there with Western Province on a pre-season tour. And I can’t remember what score he got. A big hundred or a double-hundred in Brisbane or against one of the teams they played. And that was the first time we heard of him and the ability he had. The fact that he was a man for the future. And then I was lucky to play against him a couple of times.

"Then I went on the under-23 trip to Sri Lanka with him, where I got to meet him on a personal basis and get to know him. We followed that up by playing for Zimbabwe A later on that season. Then I made my debut in 1995 and he made his test debut two tests later at this venue (Kingsmead) in Durban. Obviously, playing with him, I realised he had a lot of talent. Being a fellow allrounder, being of the same age, at that moment of time when we came into the side, we gelled together.

"From that moment, you knew that he was a class player. He didn’t take to test cricket as quickly as he could have. But thank goodness, the selectors stuck with him, for we have seen the success that he has reaped since. Always showed class. When he came in first, he was almost a giggly kind of person because he was young. He used to laugh at a lot of things. As his career went on, he became very serious about what he wanted to achieve. And I remember Bob Woolmer having a chat with him one time. Bob said to him: your standards, you need to take it to the next level; you’re averaging a certain amount; you need to take it to the next level. I think he’s been a catalyst for many South African batsmen.

“At that time, we had a lot of batsmen averaging in the 40s or just over 40. He raised the benchmark. He took it to a new level. Guys have followed suit. Your Smiths, your Amlas, your de Villiers – all the guys who have come after have set themselves new standards of what is a good average and what is to be achieved.

"A lot of people say he doesn’t get the accolades he deserves. And I’ve often thought about that and wondered why. The people you would be comparing him with would be Ponting, Tendulkar, Lara and maybe a Dravid as well. Dravid would probably be in the same boat. He’s gone about his business without trying to draw too much attention himself. And Jacques is very much along those lines. He’s never been big on the media, never been one to give too many opinions or go to too many press conferences. He’s tried to keep everything to himself.

“A Lara for example, was more flamboyant. Two world records for the highest individual score and then went to England and got the 501. I think that was what drew a lot of attention to him.

"Sachin, we all know. Went in at 16, and having the reputation that he did in India meant that he got a lot of accolades and brought a lot of attention to himself. Whereas Jacques just got on with his business, continuously getting runs, being the backbone of our batting line-up for a long period of time.

"Even on his bowling contributions, it was always two or three wickets he used to pick up. But there weren’t many performances that brought a lot of attention to him. He was always there doing his part. And I think that’s why in many ways, he slipped underneath the radar. It was also maybe a case of a prophet in your own land, that we appreciated him here. But maybe we didn’t give him as much attention, didn’t give him as many accolades as Ponting or Sachin got in Australia or India.

“He’ll be missed no doubt. To replace a cricketer like him you do need two guys at some stage. You always talk about a true allrounder as a guy who can hold his place as a batsman on his own and a bowler on his own. And Jacques can do that in all formats of the game. He’s kept himself fit and he’s kept himself motivated.

"From a team perspective, a wonderful guy to have around. You always knew what you were going to get from him. He never caused a stir or a fuss in the change-room. He just got on with his business, had a good sense of humour at times. What else can you say? Just quality.

"In the modern era, he will go down as the greatest allrounder, if not the cricketer, certainly from South Africa. You can’t compare others that I didn’t see play. I don’t know what Sobers was like. From what I have experienced, he was certainly the greatest allrounder of my generation."

Q: Did you ever see him emotional or angry?

Often. Often he used to get motivated from an anger perspective. It was never outright anger. It was always anger with a cause. 'I’ll show them' or 'Give me the ball and I’ll put something right' kind of thing. He used to channel that energy in a good way. So it was stuff that he used to motivate him to perform.

Like that Sri Lanka game in the World Cup in 1999. He was angry for some reason, I can't remember why but when we gave him the ball, he charged in and tried to bowl at the speed of light, which he did. That is what made his bowling special. That he had the ability to crank it up. He operated at over 130 during his whole career and also had the ability to go up to 140 at times.

He never shied away from his duties as a test bowler. In ODI cricket, once in a while it was ‘do you really want me to bowl?’ In test cricket, he never shied away. He was fantastic. There’s no doubt that he brought balance to the test team. To have a fourth seamer in the first innings and maybe turn to a spinner in the second – that’s been so key and vital to the success of this present South African side.

Q: There was that story during the chase of 434 at the Wanderers…

I didn’t play that game I had a back spasm. Before the game I was trying to do anything that would have a positive impact. They put the champagne bottle out in the front of the change-room with the trophy. Ros was the lady in-charge. And I said, 'Once you're done with the display, put the bottle in our fridge, we’ll need it to celebrate the series win afterwards.' Just trying to do something positive.

And when we lost the toss, they batted first. And I said that’s great this is possibly the ground where it is possible to defend, not thinking that we would have to chase 434. Just coming up with ideas of what to do. They came in in the break having conceded 434 runs and I was sitting with Mickey (Arthur) and trying to come up with little targets that they could try and chase down. When they came in there was a bad atmosphere. Everyone was quiet. There was little that was said. It was still. No humour. Jacques was the last man to come in. He was fielding at fine leg. And as he walked in he said something along the lines of 'Well guys the bowlers have done the job. They’re 10 runs short of what they should have got. Let’s go and get it.' And everyone burst out laughing because everyone knew that 434 wasn’t really 10 runs short. But it turned out to be that way.

From time to time, he would say something like that. He didn’t talk much. The key to his success of what he did in the change-room was he didn’t speak much. But when he did, people listened. Because they understood where he was coming from. If Jacques was speaking it was important that we try and lift our game. Because to get him out of his comfort zone – we always speak about his bubble, that was his greatest strength. That he stayed in the bubble for a long period of time.

And the best thing as a captain was to make sure that he was in his bubble. If he was going out to bat, to make sure that he was in his bubble and leave him in his bubble. Just let him get on and do it. He had the ability when T20 cricket came about, and even the latter part of his ODI career, he has learned to up the ante. There was a bit of criticism with him at the start of his career that he took too much time and his strike-rate whatever. He has developed. He’s improved his game. And that’s the key. Certain people end up doing certain skills well and there are others they have to work at. He was ready to work at it and get his game to a level where he wanted it to be.

Q: Kallis played under many captains. Was he never inclined to lead?

If he is honest I think he would say that he was always someone who shied away from that kind of stuff. He knew what his strengths were with regards to batting and bowling and doing his job for the side. I didn’t think he ever wanted to take that extra responsibility on his shoulders, of having to captain the side. I think he was quite happy doing what he did best and was very good at doing that. He never had an issue with who was or wasn’t captain or anything along those lines. You would never get any bad words from him on that.

He seemed bulletproof to what was said about him. Did he ever take what was written or said about him to heart?

There were instances. Clive Rice may have said something about his dad and where he worked or something like that. He would vent it privately, keep it to himself or maybe make the odd comment to one of us saying ‘can you believe what this guy’s written.’ But he didn’t get vindictive about it. He would just use it as fuel to motivate himself to perform. He would be man enough to confront anyone over an issue but he didn’t make mountains out of molehills. Unless there was something that really upset him, he would just let it ride.

Q: His father passing away was a significant event…

His mother passed away when he was young, so his dad played a huge role. His dad had made a lot of sacrifices for him and really supported him through his career. I know when he gets 50s or 100s he always acknowledges his dad. Jacques always came across, to me as a very loyal person, whether it was to teammates, friends or sponsors. He always respected people for the value they added to his life.

Q: The timing of his decision, did he get right?

I think Jacques would have thought about it a lot. In the UAE, in the last test match, there were a few moments, when you watched him, that you did get the feeling that something was playing on his mind. Credit to him. The time to go is when you’re on top, when people are asking whether it is the time or not. If he wanted to play, you’d pick him for the next year or two. I’m just happy that he announced it before this test match because Jacques is the kind of character who easily could have said, after the test, 'I’m done, I don’t want the fuss of what goes on.' I’m glad he’s going to get a bit of fuss because that’s what deserves after the effort he’s put in.

Q: Your farewell involved a bit of fuss. Was it fun?

I enjoyed it. That wasn’t the thinking, when I retired. South Africa were going to finish a series here in February and the team was going overseas after. I just felt that the timing was right. It turned a bit into the Polly Parade, but that wasn’t the intention. Jacques has always been a no-fuss kind of person. He just wants to go out there and do what he does best. His ability to play cricket is where his strength lies and he wants to stick to that. I’m glad he has given people the chance to say thank you.

Q: Some of you eat, drink, breathe cricket. How difficult will it be for Jacques to move on?

I think he’ll move out of it quite easily, actually. He’ll be spending plenty of time on the golf course. He’s always enjoyed the luxuries of home and family and friends and that environment. It will be a good period of time when he’ll stay at Cape Town and enjoy his retirement for a while. Whatever he decides to do after that he’ll do well. He’s the kind of guy who is focussed and gets on with it when he’s committed to something. We’re a proudly passionate sporting nation. You’ll find that guys who end up playing for South Africa have played rugby, cricket, soccer, hockey, tennis at school. Jacques was a good rugby player at school. He’ll find something to sink his teeth into.

Q: Is he coach or mentor material?

You never know. There are certain people who are involved in set-ups in South Africa now who I never thought would go into coaching. Jacques is one of those guys you would get in for a short period of time. He would love to help guys out with his ideas. I must admit some of his thinking might be above what us mere mortals are used to implementing. Even when he used to talk about his technique, you would think to yourself, I’ve never thought of it that deeply. I think he’d be really good to bring in as batting consultant. And a man who has played so much cricket is sure to have great ideas on the game, where it can go, and how players can improve.

Q: How might he be replaced?

From a spinning perspective, we are sort of settled as to whom are we going forward with. If you take Jacques out of this line-up, shift all the batsmen up slightly and bring in someone like McLaren who brings both aspects a bit, and then you have Peterson and Philander who can also contribute a bit with the bat. I think that’s the way going forward for South Africa. You can’t keep licking the wounds for five years to come. We need to come up with a plan as to how we can be successful without Jacques, as he has been a massive influence and he has contributed in all facets. We will have to come up with a plan, there’s no doubt about that. He should be missed because of what he has achieved.

Q: One of the great things about Kallis was how he stayed fit all his career. What was the key to that?

He has been lucky, and I can’t think of many injuries that he had, maybe a hamstring. He has played those odd games where he could only bat and not bowl – maybe a game against Pakistan in 1997 he missed. I can’t remember him missing too many trips. Credit to him. As much as you do, you need to have a natural kind of fitness and compare the time he spent on the field with the rest of us because he spent a lot of time batting as well. So credit for him for that aspect as well. I don’t think he would have described himself as a fitness freak, running and hitting the gym and things like that. But he knew what had to be done and credit to him for sticking to that, maintaining his body.

Q: Leaving charisma and flamboyance aside, was he as good as Lara or Tendulkar?

That’s the one thing we are not going to get to the bottom of. But one thing I can say is that some of the pitches that we have experienced here were not so easy to score runs on but he made it look easy and scored big runs here. All I can say is that I played 108 tests, and if I played a good portion of those tests in India then I might not have that average. If Jacques batted on some of those flatter wickets, then maybe he would have ended up with a better average. That’s all we can say, and maybe he would not have got that many wickets. Some of the wickets that we played on here weren't easy, so credit to him for getting runs on them.

Q: What were your plans when bowling to Kallis?

I didn’t have to do that often. I can’t remember having many encounters with JK. I can remember more about bowling against Herschelle (Gibbs) and Graeme (Smith). I can’t think of any game! Perhaps, there was the respect factor. If I was batting against him I didn’t want to hit him, and similarly he didn’t want to get out against me. That might have been the case.

Q: Part of his batting within himself was because of the responsibility he had in the line-up. Could he have been a bit more attacking if he wanted to?

Obviously, there is no doubt about it. He has been the backbone, and everybody has got some role in the team. In one-day cricket often it has been the case of you anchoring the innings and you have got players like Herschelle and Jonty around you and they were going to play the big shots. But as he matured, he understood that he needed to make more significant contributions, and significance comes with being the guy who’s there for as long as possible. He did that, and that might have been misconstrued and certain other guys in other teams might have been given the roles to be more flamboyant. Someone like Ponting might have been given the license to play with more freedom. We needed JK as our backbone, but as he went on, his game changed and became better. He had that ability to adapt to the roles given to him.

Q: Did the criticism that he was sometimes too slow bother him?

International sportsmen are used to criticism – people have their opinion, past players, commentators – you get used to that as an individual. He would have looked at it and said, 'Was that constructive, should I change or hold on? I am doing the job that the team requires of me.' If he had any doubts he would have bounced on the captain and the coach. He was always open to new ideas, and the team moving in different directions and trying different game-plans. I am sure he would have taken the criticisms well and tried to be the best Jacques Kallis he could be.

Neil Manthorp with Shaun Pollock

STATISTICS (As at July 30, 2014)

Batting and fielding averages

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 166
45.97 45
1488 97
ODIs 328
44.36 15885
T20Is 25
25 4
First-class 257
19595 224
54.10     62
List A 424
    162 0
Twenty20 143
3290 111.64
27 363
Bowling averages

Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Avg Econ SR 4w 5w 10

Tests 166
20232 9535 292
5 0
ODIs 328
5/30 5/30 31.79
2 0
T20Is 25
0 0
First-class 257
  29033 13532 427
List A 424
5/30 30.68
4.72 38.9
Twenty20 143
2954 95
0 0
All-time top 10 Test run-scorers
SR Tendulkar 1989-2013 200 329 33 15921 248* 53.78 51 68 14
RT Ponting 1995-2012 168 287 29 13378 257 51.85 41 62 17
JH Kallis 1995-2013 166 280 40 13289 224 55.37 45 58 16
R Dravid 1996-2012 164 286 32 13288 270 52.31 36 63 8
BC Lara 1990-2006 131 232 6 11953 400* 52.88 34 48 17
*DPMD Jayawardene
1997-2014 147 248 15 11671 374 50.09 34 48 15
*KC Sangakkara 2000-2014 126 217 17 11665 319 58.32 36 50 10
*S Chanderpaul
1994-2014 156 266 46 11414 203* 51.88 29 63 14
AR Border
1978-1994 156 265 44 11174 205 50.56 27 63 11
SR Waugh 1985-2004 168 260 46 10927 200 51.06 32 50 22
All-time top 10 ODI run-scorers
Name Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Avg Balls SR 100 50 0
SR Tendulkar (India) 1989-2012 463 452 41 18426 200* 44.83 21367 86.23 49 96 20
RT Ponting (Aus/ICC) 1995-2012 375 365 39 13704 164 42.03 17046 80.39 30 82 20
ST Jayasuriya (Asia/SL) 1989-2011 445 433 18 13430 189 32.36 14725 91.2 28 68 34
*KC Sangakkara (Asia/ICC/SL) 2000-2014 377 354 37 12806 169 40.39 16500 77.61 19 86 14
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Asia/Pak) 1991-2007 378 350 53 11739 137* 39.52 15812 74.24 10 83 20
*DPMD Jayawardene (Asia/SL) 1998-2014 420 393 38 11681 144 32.9 14964 78.06 16 72 27
JH Kallis (Afr/ICC/SA) 1996-2014 328 314 53 11579 139 44.36 15885 72.89 17 86 17
SC Ganguly (Asia/India) 1992-2007 311 300 23 11363 183 41.02 15416 73.7 22 72 16
R Dravid (Asia/ICC/India) 1996-2011 344 318 40 10889 153 39.16 15284 71.24 12 83 13
BC Lara (ICC/WI) 1990-2007 299 289 32 10405 169 40.48 13086 79.51 19 63 16
All-time top 30 Test wicket-takers
M Muralitharan
1992-2010 133 44039 18180 800 9/51 16/220 22.72 2.47 55 67 22
SK Warne
1992-2007 145 40705 17995 708 8/71 12/128 25.41 2.65 57.4 37 10
A Kumble 1990-2008 132 40850 18355 619 10/74 14/149 29.65 2.69 65.9 35 8
GD McGrath
1993-2007 124 29248 12186 563 8/24 27-Oct 21.64 2.49 51.9 29 3
CA Walsh 1984-2001 132 30019 12688 519 7/37 13/55 24.44 2.53 57.8 22 3
N Kapil Dev
1978-1994 131 27740 12867 434 9/83 11/146 29.64 2.78 63.9 23 2
Sir RJ Hadlee
1973-1990 86 21918 9611 431 9/52 15/123 22.29 2.63 50.8 36 9
SM Pollock 1995-2008 108 24353 9733 421 7/87 10/147 23.11 2.39 57.8 16 1
Wasim Akram
1985-2002 104 22627 9779 414 7/119 11/110 23.62 2.59 54.6 25 5
*Harbhajan Singh
1998-2013 101 28293 13372 413 8/84 15/217 32.37 2.83 68.5 25 5
CEL Ambrose
1988-2000 98 22103 8501 405 8/45 11/84 20.99 2.3 54.5 22 3
M Ntini
1998-2009 101 20834 11242 390 7/37 13/132 28.82 3.23 53.4 18 4
IT Botham 1977-1992 102 21815 10878 383 8/34 13/106 28.4 2.99 56.9 27 4
MD Marshall
1978-1991 81 17584 7876 376 7/22 11/89 20.94 2.68 46.7 22 4
*DW Steyn 2004-2014 74 15711 8560 375 7/51 11/60 22.82 3.26 41.80 23 5
Waqar Younis
1989-2003 87 16224 8788 373 7/76 13/135 23.56 3.25 43.4 22 5
*JM Anderson
2003-2014 97 21741 11140 360 7/43 11/71 30.18 3.07 58.9 16 2
Imran Khan
1971-1992 88 19458 8258 362 8/58 14/116 22.81 2.54 53.7 23 6
DL Vettori
1997-2012 112 28670 12392 360 7/87 12/149 34.42 2.59 79.6 20 3
DK Lillee 1971-1984 70 18467 8493 355 7/83 11/123 23.92 2.75 52 23 7
1994-2009 111 23438 10501 355 7/71 14/191 29.58 2.68 66 12 2
AA Donald 1992-2002 72 15519 7344 330 8/71 12/139 22.25 2.83 47 20 3
RGD Willis 1971-1984 90 17357 8190 325 8/43 9/92 25.2 2.83 53.4 16 0
*Z Khan 2000-2014 92 18785 10247 311 7/87 10/149 32.94 3.27 60.4 10 1
B Lee
1999-2008 76 16531 9554 310 5/30 9/171 30.81 3.46 53.3 10 0
LR Gibbs 1958-1976 79 27115 8989 309 8/38 11/157 29.09 1.98 87.7 18 2
FS Trueman
1952-1965 67 15178 6625 307 8/31 12/119 21.57 2.61 49.4 17 3
DL Underwood
1966-1982 86 21862 7674 297 8/51 13/71 25.83 2.1 73.6 17 6
JH Kallis
1995-2013 166 20232 9535 292 6/54 9/92 32.65 2.82 69.2 5 0
CJ McDermott
1984-1996 71 16586 8332 291 8/97 11/157 28.63 3.01 56.9 14 2
All-time top 20 ODI wicket-takers
Name Span Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI Avg RpO SR 4 5
M Muralitharan (Asia/ICC/SL) 1993-2011 350 341 18811 12326 534 7-30 23.08 3.93 35.2 15 10
Wasim Akram (Pak) 1984-2003 356 351 18186 11812 502 5-15 23.52 3.89 36.2 17 6
Waqar Younis (Pak) 1989-2003 262 258 12698 9919 416 7-36 23.84 4.68 30.5 14 13
WPUJC Vaas (Asia/SL) 1994-2008 322 320 15775 11014 400 8-19 27.53 4.18 39.4 9 4
SM Pollock (Afr/ICC/SA) 1996-2008 303 297 15712 9631 393 6-35 24.5 3.67 39.9 12 5
GD McGrath (Aus/ICC) 1993-2007 250 248 12970 8391 381 7-15 22.02 3.88 34 9 7
B Lee (Aus) 2000-2012 221 217 11185 8877 380 5-22 23.36 4.76 29.4 14 9
*Shahid Afridi (Asia/ICC/Pak) 1996-2014 378 352 16610 12813 378 7-12 33.89 4.62 43.9 4 9
A Kumble (Asia/India) 1990-2007 271 265 14496 10412 337 6-12 30.89 4.3 43 8 2
ST Jayasuriya (Asia/SL) 1989-2011 445 368 14874 11871 323 6-29 36.75 4.78 46 8 4
J Srinath (India) 1991-2003 229 227 11935 8847 315 5-23 28.08 4.44 37.8 7 3
SK Warne (Aus/ICC) 1993-2005 194 191 10642 7541 293 5-33 25.73 4.25 36.3 12 1
Saqlain Mushtaq (Pak) 1995-2003 169 165 8770 6275 288 5-20 21.78 4.29 30.4 11 6
AB Agarkar (India) 1998-2007 191 188 9484 8021 288 6-42 27.85 5.07 32.9 10 2
DL Vettori (ICC/NZ) 1997-2013 275 258 13029 8946 284 5-7 31.5 4.11 45.8 7 2
*Z Khan (Asia/India) 2000-2012 200 197 10097 8301 282 5-42 29.43 4.93 35.8 7 1
JH Kallis (Afr/ICC/SA) 1996-2014 328 283 10750 8680 273 5-30 31.79 4.84 39.3 2 2
AA Donald (SA) 1991-2003 164 162 8561 5926 272 6-23 21.78 4.15 31.4 11 2
Abdul Razzaq (Asia/Pak) 1996-2011 265 254 10941 8564 269 6-35 31.83 4.69 40.6 8 3
*SL Malinga (SL) 2004-2014 174 168 8342 7243 267 6-38 27.12 5.2 31.2 9 7
All-time top 10 Test fielders (excluding wicket-keepers)
R Dravid
1996-2012 164 301 210 3 0.697
JH Kallis 1995-2013 166 315 200 4 0.634
RT Ponting 1995-2012 168 328 196 3 0.597
*DPMD Jayawardene 1997-2014 139* 248 194 4 0.782
ME Waugh
1991-2002 128 245 181 4 0.738
SP Fleming 1994-2008 111 199 171 5 0.859
GC Smith 2002-2014 117 225 169 5 0.751
BC Lara 1990-2006 131 241 164 4 0.680
MA Taylor 1989-1999 104 197 157 4 0.796
AR Border 1978-1994 156 277 156 4 0.563
All-time top 10 ODI fielders (excluding wicket-keepers)
Name Span Mat Inns Ct Max Ct/Inn
*DPMD Jayawardene (Asia/SL) 1998-2014 420 415 204 4 0.491
RT Ponting (Aus/ICC) 1995-2012 375 372 160 3 0.430
M Azharuddin (India) 1985-2000 334 332 156 4 0.469
SR Tendulkar (India) 1989-2012 463 456 140 4 0.307
SP Fleming (ICC/NZ) 1994-2007 280 276 133 4 0.481
JH Kallis (Afr/ICC/SA) 1996-2014 328 324 131 3 0.404
M Muralitharan (Asia/ICC/SL) 1993-2011 350 347 130 3 0.374
AR Border (Aus) 1979-1994 273 270 127 3 0.470
Younis Khan (Pak) 2000-2013 253 245 126 4 0.514
R Dravid (Asia/ICC/India) 1996-2011 344 269 124 4 0.460
All-rounder comparison (minmimum 90 wickets, 5000 runs)
Avg Wkts Avg All-round Avg (Bat avg - Bowl Avg)
GS Sobers
23.73 (57.78-34.03)
JH Kallis
22.75 (55.37-32.65)
SR Waugh
13.62 (51.06-37.44)
ST Jayasuriya
5.73 (40.07-34.34)
IT Botham
5.14 (33.54-28.40)
N Kapil Dev
131 5248
1.41 (31.05-29.64)
CL Hooper
-12.96 (36.46-49.42)



* Born on October 16, 1975 in Cape Town.

* Made his international debut as a 20-year-old in December, 1995 in a test match against England in Durban.


* Played 165 tests for South Africa, scoring 13 174 runs at an average of 55.12.

* Scored two double centuries in tests with his 224 against Sri Lanka in Cape Town in 2012 being his best score.

* Took 292 wickets with a six-for 54 his best bowling in an innings.

* As a reliable slip fielder, he took 199 catches in tests.

* Kallis is the fourth-highest run-getter in tests behind Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid.

* His 45 test centuries is the second highest in the world behind Tendulkar.


* The Boxing Day test against India in Durban was his last match in the longest format of the game.

* he announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on July 30, 2014

* He is South Africa's greatest cricketer, having scored the most number of test runs and also being fifth on the wicket-takers' list


King Kallis Part 1

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King Kallis Part 2

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King Kallis Part 3

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King Kallis Part 4

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King Kallis calls it a day - a short wrap of Kallis's career

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In conversation with Kallis

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Thank you, Jacques Kallis

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King Kallis

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Farewell, King Kallis

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How would you describe yourself as a test cricketer?

I’ve always been somebody who has tried to lead from the front. I've never been one to shoot my mouth off, I just tried to get the job done. I have tried to quietly pass on the knowledge that I have. I’ve always believed you play the game hard on the field without crossing boundaries. At the end of the day, you still want to have mates. If you can go to most of the players you've played the game against and have a beer, you've done that, and I think I could.

Were you fit to bowl on the last day?

The left hamstring went a little bit, but fortunately it wasn't too serious. If I needed to bowl today, I would have bowled. It would have been nice to end off without having a little niggle and play a role with the ball. Luckily, the guys bowled unbelievably well and the team didn't need me.

How did you make the decision to retire?

I planned it with Graeme and Bouch. It was totally my call though, there were no outside influences. I just felt I lost that little bit of an edge. Mentally it is quite tough to play cricket over five days. If I cant give 100%, I don't want to be bringing a team down. I had 18 wonderful years, I woke up and said "it is time". I am 100% convinced that it is. When I started playing, I said I wanted to leave the team in a better state than what I joined it in, hopefully I've done that.

Sometimes when you’re in the grind you just keep going. Then you get a taste of life away from cricket. The timing was just right, where it came from I don't know. They say you wake up one morning and you just know.

Would you have preferred to sign off at Newlands?

With Cape Town being my home ground, it would have been nice to end off there. However, three to four months are a long way down the road with a few tests to go and a tough series against Australia. It was a tough call for me. In eighteen years not much has changed. I’ve got a little older, got a little bit wiser, lost a little bit of hair, gained a little bit of hair. I really have been fortunate.

Support behind the scenes?

I've had some incredible coaches along the way. Keith Richardson at Wynberg, Bob Woolmer and Duncan Fletcher. I've also had very supportive girlfriends along the way – Tammy, Cindy and Shamone. Off the field, stuff was always taken care of. If I hadn't made it, it wouldn't have been from lack of support.

How well do you remember the beginning?

That first test match I played here I was a nervous little kid. At that stage, you don't know much about the game or your own game. Playing garden cricket with my sister, I dreamt of playing for SA. To play 166 test matches, I don't think anyone ever dreams of that. I am thankful for every game I played, right up until the last one. I always gave everything I had.

Any advice for current players?

Time goes quickly. The past 18 years have flown by. Really enjoy your career. Enjoy what it offers you. Enjoy the countries you tour. Try and take in the cultures -- it's given me experiences I would never have had. I've met many people I probably wouldn't have.

How will you adjust to concentrating on one-day cricket now you’re finished with test and first-class cricket?

It's going to free me up a little bit. I will be able to concentrate a whole year on one day stuff and not worry about test match technique. I'm very excited. I would like to play in most of the ODI matches. I'll just try to become the best player I can. I'll play some T20s, to make sure I keep playing. By the time the World Cup comes, if I am good enough and selected hopefully, I will be playing the best ODI cricket of my life.

Will you stay involved in cricket? Coaching, perhaps?

The game has given me so much I would like to give something back. I will gladly do that. In the future who knows, maybe I can be batting mentor? I haven't worked out exactly where I'm going to go with that.

What about media?

I've played my whole career in a low key manner and I found I performed best because of that. I enjoyed not being in the media and getting on with the job. In my last game we (myself and the media) came to an agreement. I could still play the last game without too much interference. It gave people a chance to say goodbye and CSA a chance to do something nice for me. They respected what I wanted and it was the send off I always dreamed of.

What are you looking forward to?

Golf! Doing normal things that people do. Not traveling every couple weeks and spending time at home. I'm looking forward to spending time with people I haven't had the opportunity to in a long time. Last year was the first Christmas in 18 years I spent at home. That was an eye-opener for me and I'd like to catch up.

Did you think about chasing Sachin’s records?

I've never played the game for records and stats. I've always tried to play the game to make the best calls and play the situation. Records have never been important to me. I don't think Sachin Tendulkar's records will be beaten very easily. I'm proud of what I achieved -- 10 000+ runs, it's something I'm very proud of.

Favourite memory?

My favourite memory was making my debut and the opportunities that gave me. Having my Dad there for my debut and my sister here for my last game was very special to me. There are so many memories and adventures. It's been a fantastic journey. I'm thankful to everyone that gave me the opportunity to do what I do. It's been one big fun experience.

It was obviously good to have Mark Boucher here, too?

We have shared so many on and off the field. It's been a tough two years without him. He's virtually a brother to me. Cricket's afforded me that. I have friends in that dressing room who I'm close to away from cricket. That's really important to me.


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