Jacques Kallis retires from Tests

'I always tried to lead from the front'

Jacques Kallis signs off his Test career content with his decision and relieved that he can return to something approaching an ordinary existence

Firdose Moonda in Durban

December 30, 2013

Comments: 96 | Text size: A | A
'Play hard without crossing boundaries' - Kallis

When Jacques Kallis arrived at Kingsmead 18 years ago, he sat in the changing room and looked out the window. He did the same thing before his last Test this week.

"Nothing much has changed since then, except me," he said. "I've got a little bit older, got a little bit wiser, lost a little bit of hair, gained a little bit of hair. My dad was here watching my first Test. Today, I had my sister watching my last. I've been really fortunate to be able to do what I love."

The affection for the game has not dimmed but the desire to meet the demands of playing at elite level has. There's much more that goes into preparation for Test cricket than what the public can see and the mental and physical toll was weighing heavily on Kallis. Many players say there is an epiphany, a morning when they wake up and know it's over.

Jacques Kallis is carried around Kingsmead by his team-mates, South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day, December 29, 2013
Jacques Kallis was carried around Kingsmead after playing his last Test © Associated Press

Kallis had his about a week ago when he told Graeme Smith, then Mark Boucher, then his team-mates and Cricket South Africa. "I felt I lost that little bit of an edge because mentally it is quite tough over the five days. If I can't give 100%, I don't want to be bringing a team down," he said. "I had 18 wonderful years. I woke up and said its time; I am 100% convinced that it is. Sometimes when you are in the grind you just keep going. When I started playing, I said I wanted to leave the game in a better state than when I joined it, hopefully I've done that."

The send-off Kallis received was confirmation that he has done that. Forget the numbers - we'll get to them - look at what his team-mates did to make his final day special. Before the match, everyone from Graeme Smith to Dale Steyn said they wanted to win the Test and the series for him. He led them out. Then, he led their batting effort. That probably wasn't part of the plan but it was proof of how much he could still offer.

The other nudge Kallis got would have been a reassuring reminder that he had the made the correct call. During his hundred, he tweaked his left hamstring, which meant bowling would have been a struggle. Still, if he was asked to do a job, he could have. "If I needed to bowl today, I would have bowled. I guess it would have been nice to end without having a little niggle and to play a role with the ball. Luckily the guys bowled unbelievably and didn't need me."

It went beyond need. It was what his team-mates wanted - to show Kallis how much he meant to them. He didn't hit the winning runs and Smith confirmed Kallis probably would have come out at No. 4 because he does things "by the book", but he was at the forefront of their celebrations.

After Smith sealed the win, the South African players were nowhere to be seen. They did not arrive to meet the Indian counterparts on the steps for the customary handshakes. Instead, Smith and Alviro Petersen raced off the field and disappeared into the dressing room. Fifteen minutes later, they emerged with custom-made t-shirts to commemorate Kallis's career. On the front was an image of Kallis waving, on the back was printed, "The only cricketer to have scored 10,000 Test runs and taken 200 wickets."

Those numbers deny him the other 3289 runs, 92 wickets and 200 catches but that wouldn't bother him. "Records have never been important to me," he said, as he always has before beginning his other line we all know "Maybe one day when I am finished". That's when it hit. "I guess now I'll look back on it. I'm proud of what I achieved."

His feats include being part of a Test team that became the best in the world and being ranked the No. 1 Test allrounder for a lengthy period of time. It's also about conducting himself in an unassuming and distinguished manner. "I've always been one that's tried to lead from the front. I've never been one to shout my mouth off, I just tried to get the job done and quietly pass on the knowledge that I have," he said.

"I've always believed you play the game hard on the field without crossing boundaries. If you can go to most of the players you've played the game against and have a beer, you've done that."

"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."

Like many cricketers, the friendships are something Kallis will treasure most. Those friends carried him on their shoulders and took him around Kingsmead one final time. He carried a South African flag and waved to the crowd. He was only held aloft by Graeme Smith and Morne Morkel for about a tenth of the way. By the time he got to Castle Corner, he was on his feet and made to down a beer.

"I'll miss the friendships. The winning times, the losing times, the tough times. The support," he said. "I've been fortunate to have incredible support. From coaches, like Keith Richardson, Bob Woolmer, Duncan Fletcher and I've had friends and family that have put up with me being away for many months, especially my sister."

Janine is the person Kallis played garden cricket with in his childhood. "You dream of playing for South Africa then," he said. "But to play 166 Test matches for South Africa, I don't think anyone ever dreams of that. I am thankful for every game I played, right up until the last one."

From one Durban Test in 1995, to another in 2013, Kallis has realised "time goes quickly". His advice to young players is: "Really enjoy your career. Enjoy what it offers you, 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."

The journey is not over for Kallis. He remains part of South Africa's ODI set-up, with his target the 2015 World Cup. Although he took a 19-month break from 50-over cricket from March 2012 to November this year, and has only played four matches since he has committed himself to doing everything he can to be ready to bring home some silverware.

"Not playing Test cricket is going to free me up a little bit. I'll spend a whole year concentrating on one-day stuff and I am very excited," he said. "We will manage the workload but I would like to play in most of the one-day cricket before the World Cup. I'll also play some T20s competitions around the world to make sure I keep playing. By the times it comes, if I am good enough and I get selected, hopefully I will be playing best ODI cricket of my life."

He also hasn't ruled out a coaching role. "The game has given me so much I would like to give something back, maybe as a batting mentor," he said. But first, it will be about getting what MS Dhoni hinted at when he said life was waiting for Kallis. And Kallis can't wait.

"I'll be playing a lot of golf. And just doing normal things people do," he said. "Just not traveling every couple weeks and spending time at home. Spend time with people I haven't had the opportunity to be with. Last Christmas was the first time I was home in 18 years and that was an eye-opener for me. I'd like to catch up."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by   on (January 2, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

With the exit of Kallis, the last of the Gt titans of my time (might be a bit unfair to Sangakkara), it's time for me to pick my dream TEST team of All Time. My team, as usual, is not picked based any bias and emotional sentiment. I have my favourites, but I'm using genuine SUBSTANCE over style, favouritism, nationalism and emotions. It's also based on the records that are derived from scientific/intellectually ordered analysis; rather than the summing up of years of aggregates, which would provide nothing but obvious counting-on-the-fingers kindergarten stuff, which makes no sense with respect to coming up with the best 11 of All Time. My team is: Hobbs, Gavascar, Bradman, Kallis, Viv Richards, Sobers, Gilchrist, Akram, Marshall, Lilee and Muralitheran. The No. 4 spot must be given to Kallis, if we're seriously picking the best team ever. He'll bat there as good as any batsman the game has seen, and his bowling gives him the edge over Lara who is the best batsman of the modern era.

Posted by Lilieswalker on (January 1, 2014, 23:52 GMT)

Garry Sobers maybe was the best #6 bat - which is where he batted when he took on more bowling responsibility. However in 54 of his 93 tests he batted at positions 3-5 with a batting average over 63! If he was playing now I have no doubt he would be the best player in the world in all formats and though it's completely irrelevant I should add that I am not a West Indian but an Englishman who admires a wonderful cricketer wherever he (or she) might come from.

Posted by Diaz54 on (January 1, 2014, 23:23 GMT)

Diri ....good comment...the. On bias cricketers know who the greatest batsmen was and it is not one who went 44 innings without scoring a hundred. Kallis a tube great...not mist cricket but hasndonenwell for SA.

Posted by gandabhai on (January 1, 2014, 20:54 GMT)

Agree 100%, King Kallis is 100 times better than imran khen.

Posted by AB_DeVilliers on (January 1, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

@Scarlet, I hate to turn this article about a Sachin vs. other batsmen debate (as many of the other articles end up), but in my personal capacity I agree with you that I always had the preference of watching Dravid over Tendulkar. As a consequence, I believe Dravid was a better player and that Tendulkar would largely be guarded by him at 4. This is just my opinion. All 3 players are among the best of tier time, for sure.

Posted by Lilieswalker on (January 1, 2014, 19:23 GMT)

One of the most impressive things about Kallis's all-round career in various formats was he was able to maintain his averages and figures consistently to the end. As he cut back on his bowling commitments to some degree in recent seasons his batting average increased. Marvellous players as they were Ponting and Tendulkar were not able to achieve this to the same degree. South Africa will not find one player to replace him, though they do have a high class bowling attack and decent batting line-up, I think the relative fragility in some batting positions will be accentuated.

Posted by Jimmyvida on (January 1, 2014, 9:05 GMT)

Sobers is, was and will be the best # 6 batsman of all time. He could have been better at #7. As captain, he bowled when he wanted and did so however he wanted. I am not saying he wasn't great, I saw him and marveled at his batting prowess. Would he have been great if he had batted at #3? Kallis however, is classically correct, a person every right handed batsman should emulate. Sobers was gifted. Two great players, but lets keep them in their particular notches. Sobers for his time and Kallis for this time.

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (January 1, 2014, 3:49 GMT)

His Cricinfo profile's start should be amended as, "Perhaps the greatest all-rounder ever to play the game". No wonder he's called as "King Kallis"

Posted by Unomaas on (January 1, 2014, 1:03 GMT)

@Scarlet on (December 31, 2013, 19:28 GMT)

Yes, "1 billion people relied on him to score runs", but inversely, he also had 1 billion people supporting him. No other cricketer had such support. I dare say, if Rahul Dravid had 1 billion people supporting him everytime he came out to bat, do you think his batting would have been better and more significant? One cannot underestimate the power of positivism in SRT's career.

I don't like it when people use this line of reasoning because it seeks to undermine the achievements of other cricketers.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2014, 0:08 GMT)

In my judgment Jacques Kallis is among the best I have seen as a batsman. After 1. Sir Vivian Isaac Alexander Richards 2. Brian Charles Lara, then 3. Jacques Kallis. To me more reliable than number 4. on my list Rickey Ponting and number 5. shachin Tendulkar. As an all rounder the best I have definitely seen. I never saw Sir Garfield Sobers but in my judgment he is a better cricketer.

Posted by zxaar on (December 31, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

@Scarlet " I have no idea why most Indians ( I am an Indian) think Sach. is better than Dravid. he never was and never will be. " ------------------ you can believe whatever you want. However Tendulkar is only batsman (other than Bradman) to average 40 plus in all the nations he has batted. Dravid averages 29 or so in SA while 33 odd in sri lanka. Kallis averages 31 in England and 33 odd in Sri lanka. Tendulkar is consistent across the board, other two are not. Dravid and Kaliis both have SR of 72 in ODIs while Tendulkr has SR of 86.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

I don't think Kallis cares if he was the best or not.i just think he is very proud of what he achieved in his career although it may not of been as dynamic as other players because of his strike rate it sure was effective and worked for south Africa's brand of cricket.

Posted by Scarlet on (December 31, 2013, 19:28 GMT)

@ Protears .. The team led by Steve Waugh was the great Australian team not the one led by Ponting. And as you may know only India beat them in 2001 and then drew series in Australia.

Kallis is a true legend. Immense respect.

On Kallis (one of my all timefavourite players) and Sachin (Yes, I am not a Sachin fan), I will say that Kallis is better test batsman on any given day. In fact Dravid is India's best test batsman. I have no idea why most Indians ( I am an Indian) think Sach. is better than Dravid. he never was and never will be. Finally I would like to highlight one point something which no statistic can capture. Can you even try to imagine when ~1 billion people rely on you to score runs. The burden is something none of us can imagine. It is only Sach. who would be able to tell this. I know he has his faults (records etc.), but simply for shouldering burden of a cricket crazy country for 2 decades his place is higher than Sir Don, Sir Gary Sobers and everyone put together

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Kallis is by far the most perfect cricketer ever. He can bat, bowl, field. The perfect definition of an all rounder.

Even 10 years ago every body used to bench mark Sobers effort as the perfect cricketer but today Kallis has shown that whole world needs to bench mark him if they want to become perfect cricketers.

Kallis was infect the real definition of perfect cricketer. He is mr. cricket and he is boss. Salute to the most perfect cricketer ever born. I will miss you.

Posted by Lilieswalker on (December 31, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Contrary to an earlier comment there was a cricketer who can be compared to Jaques Kallis - Garfield (Gary) Sobers. Kallis is the greatest all-rounder/test player of the last 20 years as was Sobers in his time. However if I could choose to watch either one of them score 150 in his prime it would have to be Sobers. He was a wonderful full-flowing, left-handed, attacking batsman who also had the ability to bowl fast-medium swing and seam, orthodox slow left-arm finger spin and chinamen and googlies! He was also a superb close catcher.

Posted by Ind.fools on (December 31, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

Kallis is the greatest cricketer of all time..no can be compared with him. not even sachin, lara or ponting. all you debunkers says he bats slow and do not score big runs. well tell me which other so called greatest criketer has taken the burden of batting at no.3 or 4 and bowling full quota overs, fielding in the slips with the great reflexes and commitment and sometimes even taking role of vice captain and captain. This man seriously is mr. cricket, the ultimate god. other players like sachin, lara,ponting etc only had to think about their own batting and they could save all their energy in batting only. i think kallis would have break all record of sachin, lara or ponting if he only played as a specialist batsman. so all stop saying sachin is this and that etc. just tell me how many catches and wickets did sachin took before comparing with mr. cricket. hence i suggest to take a bow this GOD of criket and not god of nation

Posted by lovetoplaycricket on (December 31, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

he is possibly the rarest breed of cricket and yet he achieved so much. his stats is mind boggling. he would have been the biggest star of cricket if he was to be an Indian.Hats off to you the legend! KING KALLIS.

a nepali cricket fan

Posted by BellCurve on (December 31, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

There are just six Test batsmen who can claim that no-one scored more runs than them at an higher average: Tendulkar (53), Kallis (55), Sanga (56), Sobers (57), Bradman (99), and, last and least, Andy Ganteaume (112).

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 31, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

On the TV they pointed out that Kallis had achieved as much as Dravid and Zaheer together- India's 2nd best batsman,and 2nd best bowler. His achievements are staggering. And that's Tests only! And what a way to sign off-with115! He had the broadest bat I have ever seen,as well as the broadest shoulders more or less. It must be that he really did use the centre of his bat.Truly he has been a great player.

Posted by Navin84 on (December 31, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

I still believe that Kallis should not have retired from Test cricket, he should have quit ODIs and T20s to prolong his Test Career like Chanderpaul. Not because you had a few bad games you will retire, he is one of the best test cricket has seen.

Posted by wapuser on (December 31, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

And let's not forget the greatest kallis moment of all -

"I think they're about twenty runs short here lads"

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

No words, as words would fall short if I start to write in praise of Kallis. But in short he's a dream cricketer. Only in dreams & that too a few can play the game of cricket the way he did. One can be Lara, Tendulkar or say Wasim, Steyn and even Smith (G), Dravid alone but to be a Kallis... is not everybody's cup of coffee. Cricket is a sport of stats/numbers, like many others, & the numbers are shouting loud how rare a cricketer this guy has been while this guy has always remained silent, quiet & humble. Probably he never felt like speaking up as all talking was done by his bat, ball & safest pair of hands for 18 something years. True Legend!!!

Posted by Gerrardmania on (December 31, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

well how quickly life passes, I was a kid when I first saw Kallis playing ever since I start following SA Team I tried to copy his style of cricket. Kallis always use to be cool, calm, coming up with special performances a brilliant bowler an active slip fielder and now retired from Tests but I am happy that he will be there in ODIs and I wish he ends up by winning a major tournament.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

I was 9 years old when I really started to love the game. 99 WC, I was quite infatuated with the SA side, full of talented all rounders. But one man Jacques Henry Kallis caught my imagination. I didnt know much about him. He could bowl fast and was a brilliant batsmen. I had my first email id named after him. I have been such a big fan but I would have never have imagined him to finish with the numbers that he has achieved.

Phenomenal colossus of cricket. He wasnt as spectacular as the other great batsmen of his era. He wasnt also the best fast bowler of our era. But he did both pretty well , and played all formats of the game. When we are comparing greats to King Kallis , one really has to think about the workload this man has had to endure. To be at the top our game till the very end, to be bowling 130ks/hr at 38! The next generation wlll look at his stats and ask us"How good was he ? Did you watch him" Im proud to say I have watched a once in a lifetime player. Goodbye King Kallis

Posted by Shoobhit on (December 31, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

@Akhter786, agree. nice one!

Posted by PakPride87 on (December 31, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

great cricketer of all time...A role model for young players

Posted by Akhter786 on (December 31, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

Sir Jacques Henry Kallis you are arguably the best cricketer of modern era. The most complete. Batsmen are replaceable, bowlers will be replaced, catchers will surge ahead. Gentlemen will enamour, But who is gonna do it all alone himslef. Thankyou Kallis, the uncrowned King. Why should i compare you with any greats , present or past, has anybody did what you did. I know everybody knows the answer. The Aussies know, Indians know, Englishmen know, Carribeans know the whole world knows, what it meant to be Jacques Kallis. An unimaginable blend of everything one could imagine of a player even in fairytales. And your signature last slow ton still was much match changer and match winner.

I am out of words now. A teary eyed salute from a fan from Great Himalayas- Kashmir.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 31, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

There was the Don, Sorbers, Sachin, Murali, Warne, Ponting, Lara, Botham the list of the greatest cricketer has been debated but there can no longer be a debate as to who the greatest cricketer ever was. No one even comes close to matching Kallis as batter, bowler and fielder.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

I can only say one thng hatts off for the great King Kallis Stand up tall and hail King Kallis luv u n oll the best for the future n for the 2015 world cup

Posted by Ali_Chaudhary on (December 31, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

sad to see that you got the lapse of honour in front of an empty Stadium.

Posted by Ghazanfarr on (December 31, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Aslamoualikum, one of the fantastic player of the world. Sachin Tandulakar has his own class while Kallis has own. Kallis has a such great player that no one can break his recored as more than 25,000 scores as for as take more than 500 wickets in all formats. he was a match winner players. the youngster can increase their strength to see both Tandulkar and Kallis.best luck for future for both Tandulkar and Kallis and hop Now they both will serve cricket out of Ground in any mean.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

A Complete & Successful All Rounder of All Time (so far). Very Happy & Satisfied. Century in Last Test, Part of No.1 Test Team, Playing Member of Match They Won, Very Popular Within Team Mates & Around The Globe. Very Well Done J. Kallis. Wishing You A Very Happy Life & Wish You A Success in World Cup 2015. Your Records Are Unique & We (your fan) Will Always Remember. Love to See You in Cricket (any shape/role). Good Luck.

Posted by kundikai on (December 31, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

King kallis z my greatest cricketer of all time. A true all rounder. I'm gona miss his sitting e most, his shot selection was jus glorious

Posted by anver777 on (December 31, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

End of a GREAT GREAT career for this Legendarily cricketer... a calm & critics free with high respect on the field, Kallis will be always missed for his qualities by the whole cricket loving public !!! ALL THE BEST for u're future & we need u to be in IPL 2014 !!!!

Posted by CricketFirstLove on (December 31, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

See how he left with so much of grace and with so much concern for the future of his team. Never records were his concern. I hope Gavaskar and Tendulkar great chasers of records were listening and reading.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 31, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

Another cricketing GREAT's career comes to an end. As been said by many commentators - THE COMPLETE PACKAGE, Kallis is a rare breed at the moment. SA will be the first team to produce another like him. A stablizing force in the team. WELL DONE TO KALLIS....A great SENDOFF by SA team.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 31, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

@Protears, yes, India were the only team that beat the dominant Aussie team in a series (2000-2001, Laxman's 281, Harbhajan's 32 wickets, etc.). England beat them in 2005 but that was towards the end of the era. No other team won a series.

Yes, you beat the Aussies twice in a row in Australia. That is tremendous as no other team seems to be able to do that (although England too won in 2010-2011). However, SA never won against 'that' Aussie team that had McGrath and Warne, not to mention Langer, Hayden, Martyn and the likes.

As of now, there is no question that SA is the best side but India are clear #2. The Aussies are giving a hiding to England but they are at home and are beating an Eng. side shot of confidence and several passengers. Despite their 'great' wins, let it not be forgotten that they got thrashed by India and England just this year. England, in current form, may be ranked below Windies.

Posted by Gangi on (December 31, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

I recommend that Mr. Kallis is more valuable player than Tendulkar and Lara. Because of his allround cricketing skills. He is ideal fellow to follow all youngsters if they want to become succssfuly cricketer. He is truly legend not only because of his cricketing skills but his beaviour throughout his career.

Posted by SHK1 on (December 31, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

Had SA's media been as big as India's, Kallis would have got the praise and admiration he truly deserves. This is how you say goodbye... on a high. Struggling to get your 100th 100 and then reschedule international fixtures to have a perfect oppotunity to score a 100 in the last test and yet failing to do that is a disgrace!

Posted by joe_antony on (December 31, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

Twenty years back, as a kid I always wanted to pick and support a team which is having the best player and a chance to win (the world cup), my country's team was too feeble then. So I picked SA, I used to support SA when all my friends stare at me. Those were the time of rice, cook and vessels. Then this very smart looking tall strong young man started appearing, initially I though he was a batsman as he was coming on top order. I didn't realize at that time that I had just started following one of the best cricketers of all time. SA has been a very interesting team and filled with many rare personalities to watch the kluseners, rohdes, kirstens... but Kallis was the best and most talented.. Btw, I forgot to tell something, sometime in the the past my home team got an extraordinary captain and became strong and I started supporting them :), though I no longer support SA, continued to be a mad fan of Kallis. An analisys showed kallis did a Dravid+Zaheer in his records, truly a KING.

Posted by wapuser on (December 31, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

Jacques kallis alwayw been my favourite. After india SAF i my fav and amongs thats JK stands the top. I am already missing the legend all rounder. This is true u cant compare him with sachin. But u cant eighter compare sachin with JK qualities n ability. Love u JK.

Posted by CoolSree on (December 31, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

Its thanks to Kallis that South Africa played 7 batsmen, 5 bowlers, 1 wicketkeeper every time....a Legend of the game...such talents are very rare....every all rounder is stronger in one aspect unlike kallis who was brilliant across....Hats off to the Gentleman...Way to go...Will miss Kallis in SA set up

Posted by SHER-A-PANJAB on (December 31, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

Yes ,we always miss him . He is the greatest alrounder in the world of cricket .he has led from the front and played as a pillar of SA batting and bowling line -up . KAllis you got retirement but I still ,don't believe it ,,,,,,,,, good luck .

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 2:50 GMT)

I have never been happier about an India loss... Kudos to our boys on the way they played. They brought the best out of SA bowlers and made the last day of King Kallis' test career memorable. We will miss the legend...He is the last of the greats from my childhood...

Posted by Nuwas on (December 31, 2013, 2:27 GMT)

farewell King Kallis... you served your country well.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

Most underrated player of the he last two decades

Posted by class9ryan on (December 31, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

I don't want to compare him with Sobers and why should I when he is easily the greatest of my era, and who knows he might have been better if he played in earlier generations with pace friendly wickets ? So, the sheer truth is he ends his career as one of the most complete cricketer of all time. Take a bow ... King Kallis.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

You are the most complete player I've seen, most dedicated, you have done your job throughout your playing time without demanding much attention!! You will be missed grately!!! In my team Sachin is replaceable but you are not!!! You are way way better!!! Respect from Bangladesh!!!

Posted by   on (December 31, 2013, 1:32 GMT)

Well done mate great career and great retirement. Hats off for a all time great Test Player. Loved to see you playing. Good luck !!!!!!!

Posted by DaredevilsUnlimited on (December 31, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Hats off to you King Kallis i am a diehard cricket fan for the past 55 years i am now now 63 i had my boyhood heroes likesobers,kanhai,worrel,hall,snow,barrington,harvey,reid et all botham,richards,gavaskar,vishwaneth, andy roberts, holding,gibbs,imran, hanif,sangakara,ponting et all you take the cake apart from Sir Gary the best crickter the world has seen in last 50 yers. Hail King Kallis the modest crickter.

Posted by niazbhi on (December 30, 2013, 23:40 GMT)

If its ok to compare Tendulkar with Lara, its ok to compare Kallis' batting with batting of Lara or Tendulker. If I had to pick one test batsman among those three, I would pick Kallis. Tendulker or Lara were more complete batsmen because they were far better than Kallis in ODI. As an allrounder there is no one like Kallis. In a recent series McLaren seemed to contribute far more than Kallis. So its understandable even the greatest fall short in some area.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

Kallis is the best all rounder of his time but please do not compare his batsmanship with Tendulkar's. Do not compare his all round ability with Sobers who also bowled spin and dominated from time to time both with the bat and the ball. Look at my previuous posts to see Kallis vs the top teams of the last 18 years since his debut. He is solid and played his role admirably.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 23:21 GMT)

Kallis was very good - Tendulkar was great - People are looking at his statistics and while his batting avg is higher than Tendulkar, when you break down the numbers. a different story is told. Kallis was not out 40 times in 280 innings - Tendulkar 33 in 329 Innings Let us compare common opponents: Test Average 100s 50s Kallis vs Australia 41.22 5 10 Sachin vs Australia 55.00 11 16 K vs England 44.60 8 8 SRT vs England 51.00 7 13 K vs Sri Lanka 38.86 1 5 SRT vs Sri Lanka 60.45 9 6 Kallis average was boosted by play against the WI (73.62) NZ (61.72) and Zim (169.75) He did not play against the strong WI teams like Tendulkar did in his early years. Kallis is the best all rounder of his time.

Posted by Capricorn60 on (December 30, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

A cricketing colossus on the field & seems a very humble likeable guy, definitely one of the two greatest all-rounders of the game along with Sobers. As an Indian fan, will be a pleasure to still see him playing in the IPL. Best wishes & the greatest respect to you for not only your achievements but on how played the game like a real gentleman too.

Posted by r_cricket on (December 30, 2013, 23:02 GMT)

kallis never had same class and technique of Tendulkar and Lara. No doubt that he has been a great player but to be greatest you should be able to score in all conditions (check his average in Aus) and should be able to play aggressively.

Posted by satkaru1 on (December 30, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

RESPECT RESPECT RESPECT... What a cricketer.. Top most ever in my opinion.

Posted by willsrustynuts on (December 30, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

Total cricketer. Played the game like a champion because he IS a champion. Will be missed by cricket lovers everywhere.

Posted by nainil0683 on (December 30, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

As it's said: Legends never Retire. Their legacy continues...... Thank you Kallis for being the humble and extraordinary cricketer you have been. He should be rated the best all rounder, step ahead of Sir Gary Sobers. Thank you entertaining us for all these years. May God bless you and hope you play the anchor role to bring the World Cup to South Africa.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

Deserves knighthood and the highest honour by SAF Govt for his contribution to SAF cricket. The best all rounder of this era. One of the best human beings, never found him sledging or getting involved in controversies. Had he played for records, he could well have waited for another 6 test centuries to match Tendulkar's 51 and it wouldn't have taken him long. In the process he would have surpassed the 300+ wickets too.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

a true team player rather then breaking his own records

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 30, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

Lets me honest here. Kallis retired on top and didn't extend his career like Ponting and Sachin did in pursuit of records (200 test matches) and self glory. Even the most hardcore Indian fan will admit that Sachin was awful in Test cricket for his last 2 years, I don't think he scored a century in 18 months. Kallis ends his career with a TON.

Good on you JK, always the humble cricketer and true Professional. Long live King Kallis.

Posted by batsman00007 on (December 30, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

He is the greatest player of his generation better tan Sachin who is also great but Kallis also as almost 300 Wickets in bot formats.

Posted by Protears on (December 30, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

You cannot cross compare or aggregate era's, while volume of cricket makes up number the physical factor of playing all formats and IPL and Champions League cricket along with major tournaments has an effect on longevity, it is trite if Bradman played the volume of cricket and mixed formats of today he may have only averaged 60+. Kallis is every much comparable to Sobers regardless of era's

Shan, do you honestly think India where the only team to challenge, England beat the great Australian side, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, India and England all won the odd game against them but like all era's of dominance nobody really competed against them. In 2008 we beat them with Johnson, Lee, Hussey, Clarke, Ponting, Hayden, Kattich, and we beat the Australian team that lost 4-0 in India that is giving England a hiding the same team that beat you in India, its funny how it works out.

Also India had the best batting side, even better than the great Aussie team.

Posted by Marshal_Bouncer on (December 30, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

Kallis is arguably greatest all rounder.. Though he was not a great crowd puller like Sachin , VIV, Lara etc..,He is a very Very special Player.. Its very Disappointing to see the Ground only half filled for Kallis' Last test match. Had he born in india, his exit will be discussed, for 10 more months.

Posted by Paracha420 on (December 30, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

King Kallis "The Sober's of our generation"

Posted by CricketforOlympics on (December 30, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

matey, Kallis ( Furphy with Longevity, poor TEST and ODI averages against the top 2 Teams - Australia and England , ODI best - a mere 139? just 17 ODI hundreds ) is simply out-leagued by PUNTER substance.

be it past or from Now Onwards, You Can become the Greatest Batsman ever only When you whack Sachin's massive records for which you need to carry a lot of character and the Beaut of the Bloke yay! cheers! (:

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 30, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

The debates on who is best batsmen is Sangkekara, Kallis, Pointing, Sachin, Lara are fruitless. We all have our special batsmen who we loved to watch.

But what makes this guy so unique is his unmatched ability. For one spot in your starting 11, you get a seam bowler who took 282 Test wickets (some front line bowlers don't reach that), a batsman who averages 55 (top 3 all-time) and a fielder that can take 200 Test catches.

Just imagine. You are one of two captains who needs to pick your best 11 from a pool of the worlds modern great players standing in front of you. You and the opposing captain pick each player in turn. I wager the smart captain picks Kallis first, because that what makes JH Kallis so special, you get two for the price of one.

Posted by Cricketfan23 on (December 30, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

@Protears Sachin has a better away avg than Kallis against Aus (53 vs 48) but still couldn't win because of poor Indian attack. If you watch cricket you must be aware that bowlers win test matches & south Africa always had strong bowling attacks. India should have won in Aus in 2004 but couldn't dismiss Aus on the final day of the last test. Kallis was a great Batsman but you are overestimating him when you compare him to Sachin.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

I respect Kallis but why people are so eager to compare Kallis to Sachin..Kallis was never exciting to watch as Sachin was..and he is just a decent bowler not a threatening one and Kallis never carried the burden of expectation like Sachin did..As a batsman he can be compared to the likes of Dravid, Sangakkara etc..Sachin belonged to a higher league as a batsman

Posted by CricketforOlympics on (December 30, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

Sachin, Ponting and Lara faced the most competitive of the flared up bowling Units on their toughest days. They faced the varieties of Bowling from the fastest pitches to the Flat tracks and they claimed the ripper rippers against the Bottler Challanges. Bradman's era was more of blunt bowlers and their were less threats to batsmen dominance. Although Kallis on an aggregate , appears to be greatest of all rounders. But is clearly bailed out on the Achievements and LAURELS of his contemporaries when it comes to Greatest batsman ever.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

I have no words for great Kallis. Didn't bothered for meaningless records and retired at his peak. It's very selfish to keep playing just for the sake of personal records and harm your Team like done by one Indian cricketer ( we all know whom ). Kallis could have still played for few more years if he wanted but he knew he wouldn't be able to give his best which the other players having potential could provide. Hats off to him.

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (December 30, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

Respect..hope he makes it to the World Cup and wins it.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

If there are certain great characteristics that really stand out it would be these. Great player period!, Great & best ever stats for a genuine all rounder, Greatest cricketer certainly of this but possibly of all time!, Great team man!, Great ambassador to and for the game!, Greatest SA sportsman ever?. Based purely on averages greatest ever modern day test batsman - (Sangakarras will certainly worsen over time) - greatest fourth seam bowler ever, great loyal friend...just ask Boucher? Great just about everything really!!.....Oh! and great sense of timing too to go out just at the right time, on his terms, and with a great send off. The word great is over embellished and undeservedly used i in/for the game of cricket. There are very few recognised greats of the game - he is certainly one of them - and only the real greats will be/get remembered more after they've gone. Great memories of a truly GREAT cricketer!

Posted by Shan156 on (December 30, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

@Protears, cannot understand why you have to put down Sachin to place Kallis in a pedestal. India have not had a great time in Aus, Eng, and SA but please note that cricket is a team game and India were let down by their bowlers on more than one occasion (and that disappointing trend is continuing if this series is any evidence). India were the only team to challenge the great Aussie team of the nineties/noughties thanks in no small part to Sachin's contribution. At the end of the day, bowlers win you tests, batsmen set them up. The setting up portion was taken care by Sachin and co. but India lacked potent bowlers to consistently win them games. Kallis was blessed to be part of a team that consistently had great/good bowlers but still that was not sufficient for them to win a single series against the great Aussie team. Only after the Aussie greats retire did SA manage to win series against them (and none at home till date).

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

Sir Garfield Sobers is the Greatest All Round Cricketer in the history of test matches! He played against much stronger opposition than Kallis. He also bowled pace and spin successsfully at test level. Remember, Sobers played in only 93 tests vs 166 by Kallis. Kallis is the second greatest all rounder in tests!

Posted by Shan156 on (December 30, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

Take a bow Jacques Kallis, the greatest, complete cricketer ever along with Sir Garfield Sobers. Enjoy your retirement. And, what a way to sign off.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

Kallis, A perfect all-rounder, one can only dream to be like him but it looks impossible. It was only kalllis who manage it all his cricketing years.... Respect to this greates cricketer

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 30, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

Its hurting to know that he won't be seen in whites again. I'm 53 and have been a cricket lover since my childhood. I saw my heroes Imran, Richards, Marshel and Tandulkar retire but this one is the most difficult one. I didn't like him punishing Pakistani bowlers but I admired each and every innings of him. Wish you and your family the best in life, thanks J. Kallis.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 30, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

Kallis Sir, I wouldn't trade you for Tandulkar and Kapil both of them in one pack.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 30, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

Thanks Kallis, you were special, actually very very special. Salute you from Pakistan.

Posted by adeng on (December 30, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

Long live King Kallis! I remember the unmemorable debut at Kingsmead and I will treasure the memorable farewell at Kingsmead. Had it been at Newlands, I would have been there, but alas - Kingsmead is a fitting end to the career as the place where it all began, 18 years ago.

Posted by Protears on (December 30, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

In Baseball there is a irrefutable statistic that gains weight over pure statistics and that is Value over replacement or simply put players value and contribution to a team over the rest of the majors. Kallis can say despite averaging lower in Australia and England that he has 2-3 series wins in said countries while Sachin's team endeavors abroad in the major test playing countries namely South Africa, Australia and England is pretty shocking. The simple fact that Kallis has a 48 vs 53 average in Australia but 2 series wins once against the same Australian side that embarrassed India is enough to prove averages are fallacy over contribution, Sachin apart from statistics and being in statistically the best batting team of the generation achieved very little India achieved little in the pure format.

Sachin doesn't make any All Time greatest team as a legend of statistics but not substance.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

simply, the best in business. ..

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Why this ridiculous need to compare pears with apples? Kallis is a great all-rounder, probably the only genuine all-rounder of his time ( as opposed to a bits-and-pieces' player); Tendulkar has been one of the greatest batsmen of his era, up with the likes of Ponting, Pietersen and Sangakkarra. Great - let's be grateful to both, for the fantastic cricket they've been part of. There are lovers of cricket, and there are one-eyed fools who can only see their own particular favourite. Discard them.

Posted by SlingshotPace on (December 30, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

@diri - totally agree, well said...

Posted by Gdesai on (December 30, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

Excellent article! Kallis is a great cricketer and true ambassador to the gentlemen's game. He took the calmness and composure from his life to cricket and never let his country down. Probably, his battling twin centuries to save the match against India on a turning track were the greatest innings. He has never been an openly spoken man and as all great men do, let his deed do the talking. I really wish for his future ODI career, post-retirement life and hopefully, finally opens his heart and mouth to teach the cricketing skills to younger cricketers across the world!

Posted by soaf on (December 30, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

great performance from proteas.easily the best team in this match and in the world right now.the only disappointment in the match was lack of involvement of crowd.you can easily have a feel for it because it was a mismatch of huge proportion- world number one side vs a cricketing minnow india. we hope to see crunch games between two evenly balanced side in feb when aussies will visit us .good hospitality from SAF as well by providing our minnow guest some flat tracks so they can feel at home(as smith also state this in post match present.) but still india showed its true color and bundled out like a minnow.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Tears rolling down my cheeks, what a wonderful cricketer King Kallis is, he is one batsman who has always put the highest price of his wicket ! I am sure every cricketing nation loves Kallis, he is such a legend ! a bowler who can bowl 145+, a batsman who averages 55. a slip fielder who holds on to almost every catch. We may have another Tendulkar, we may have another Warne, but we might never have Kallis again ! Thank you Kallis

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Kallis was, arguably, one of the two greatest all-rounders of all time at Test level. The other was Sir Garfield Sobers! Had you hung in there for another two years, you might have come tantalizingly close to eclipsing Tendulkar's 51 Test tons and Test aggregate!

Well done, Jacques! Let's hope you make it to the 2015 CWC (and win the mug) to cap off a fine career!

Posted by hulk777 on (December 30, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

Statistics are all used to support our argument, it does not reflect the true capability. If I compare statistics of Kallis and Sachin playing against Australia in AUS where both are playing away from home and playing against a similar attack this is what I see Sachin (Runs-1809,Ave-53.2), Kallis(Runs-1254,Ave-48.23). Now will you agree sachin is better? Lets not compare anyone, each one is good and done well for their team.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

Thnx for 18 years of Entertainment.......

Posted by   on (December 30, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

"I've never been one to shout my mouth off, I just tried to get the job done and quietly pass on the knowledge that I have." Wish all cricketers thought this way. Some cricketers just try to take wickets with their tongues.

Posted by Unomaas on (December 30, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

As some other blogger said...

One king to rule them all!

Lovely article Firdose!

Posted by diri on (December 30, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

King Kallis ...The king of kings...The most valuable player the world has ever seen or will see. There will never be another like him again. India can think Sachin was the greatest but the rest of the world knows that Kallis was better and more valuable. If my life depended on it I would rather have kallis at the crease instead of Sachin....Thank you KING Kallis. We will miss you

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