Kallis' decision 'short-term' one, says manager
Jacques Kallis' decision to skip next month's Champions Trophy for "personal reasons" was a short-term one and he still aspired to play Tests and ODIs for South Africa, his manager Dave Rundle has said. Rundle's statement is a bid to clear the air on Kallis' decision, which was explained only in brief in the official team announcement on Thursday.
"Jacques feels he needs some time out (of the game) ... in that time, we are planning the next two years," Rundle said to Sport24.com. "He still wants to continue playing for the Proteas, especially in Tests, and his dream at the moment to go to the World Cup is still there. The decision taken now has no effect on his ongoing commitments to South Africa - this is short-term, and should be viewed as such."
Kallis last played an ODI for South Africa in February last year and had made himself unavailable for selection citing personal reasons. In his column in the Times of India, Kallis, who is playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, said he needed time to plan and organise to play his best cricket.
"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," Kallis wrote. "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. 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."
South Africa's selection convenor Andrew Hudson said the decision was taken at Kallis' request. "It was at Jacques' request and we are respectful of that," Hudson said.
Coach Gary Kirsten said that while Kallis' absence was a big loss, the team was capable of coping. "He's a big player but this team has progressed to a level where we feel comfortable with whoever we pick," Kirsten said. "Obviously, he is two players in one so it does affect our combinations but that's the way it is. He's been a great player and ambassador for this country. If he feels personally he is not up for the tournament we have to respect that."