Jacques Kallis retires July 31, 2014

Smith appreciates Kallis' 'honesty'

ESPNcricinfo staff
35

Play 04:34
Cullinan: A brave decision from Kallis

Graeme Smith, the former South Africa captain, has said that Jacques Kallis retired from international cricket because he realised he might no longer have the mental strength to last till the 2015 World Cup, and that he could not face the possibility of letting his team down.

Kallis had quit Tests late last year and decided to call time on his limited-overs career after making 0, 1 and 4 in Sri Lanka earlier this month.

"I've been calling him an 'old man' and asking him what he's doing out there, but I had a hint that he might decide to retire after he came back from Sri Lanka and realised that it would take a lot of hard work for him to get through to the World Cup," Smith told sport24. "When you're playing full-time it's easier, but focus is very crucial at international level and I think he was wondering if his mind is really on it.

"He really wanted to win the World Cup, but I've always appreciated his honesty and I think he realised that he might let the team down. He was honest enough to realise he might not be strong enough to make it through to next year, especially in terms of bowling and mentally."

After Kallis' return to the ODI side last year, the challenge for South Africa had been to build the side around him but Smith said the timing of his exit six months before the World Cup had given the team time to make up for his absence.

"He's given the team enough space tactically to fill his gap with other guys but it's obviously always sad when players of his calibre move on. But he's had an incredible career which we can all celebrate and look back on fondly. He brought so much happiness and South African cricket got a lot out of Jacques in so many different eras."

Smith said that Kallis was among the greatest to have played the game. "It's always difficult to compare players from different eras, but if you consider the amount of cricket Jacques played, the length of consistency at the top of the game and all the different conditions and challenges he performed in, then he's got to be up there with the best who've ever played the game. In time, I'm sure his reputation will only go from strength to strength."

Hashim Amla, the South Africa Test captain, also praised Kallis, calling him a "one-in-50-years" cricketer. "Jacques was a one-in-50-years cricketer who had a huge influence on so many Proteas players over a twenty-year period. I was privileged to have been one of those. You appreciate the magnitude of the cricketer not only when you look at his record but also when you play alongside him."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 3, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    Too hard to judge between Kallis and Sobers - both excellent and easily the two best all-rounders I have seen.

  • Amol_Gh on August 2, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    Since all the other legends have been dragged in here for the comparison, I would say Kallis is the greatest Cricketer OVERALL ever (the greatest batsmen being Sachin and Lara) . I put Kallis ahead of Sobers, he being comparable to Sobers for being a batting all-rounder and not a bowling one (Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Hadlee, Pollock etc).

  • MaruthuDelft on August 1, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    @ Gulzar Nathani . Imran and Kallis are many levels lower than Richards and Sobers. And no one is comparable with Don Bradman; not even Pele and Muhammed Ali. Don Bradman is the greatest sportsman ever.

  • on August 1, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    Congratulation to the Great Jacques Kallis , I enjoyed his game. His consistency is equal to the Great Legends Sachin Tendulkar, Rickiponting , Garfield Sobers, Hats up & Best Wishes.

  • on August 1, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    the best all round cricketer I have ever seen after Imran khan!!!! he has shown us the ability to perform in the most crucial stage in the name of game of uncertain "CRICKET"!Salute you buddy!

  • Y2G_87 on August 1, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    Good decision, all the senior players should take this into consideration.

    If a player who feel's he might not be fit in future games and quits playing cricket, then why not senior players who are not fit, are not leaving spot for younger players to get in.

    Even though this will not be applicable for all the teams, it will with Indian cricket team, where still lot of talented players waiting for a chance.

    Keep going Kallis, there are lot many things in this world other than playing cricket, world requires contribution from great people like him in other fields as well.

  • on August 1, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    To me, the greatest all round cricketer.

  • on August 1, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    today one of the greatest player of cricket has retired from the 22 yard pitch.Nobody can match him because he has taken 250+ wickets & 11,000+ runs both in test and ODI in international cricket . He did not play for him rather than he always played for his country and other cricket teams.He is one of the legends of cricket.He is known as the greatest all rounder of all times. Me and your fans will never forget you and we salute you for giving us inspiration,entertainment,and showing your determination towards cricket.You will always be my sporting idol "KING KALLIS"

  • D.Sharma on August 1, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    @AltafPatel woah woah waoh. Not one of Dravid's 210 catches was a good one? He slipped against spinners like Harbhajan and Kumble whereas Kallis didn't slip against quality spinners. For example, watch Dravid's 200 catch. Kallis was absolute champion in all three fields, but as a slip catcher and batsmen Dravid eclipses him by a touch.

  • Ms.Cricket on August 1, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    It is great to see recent South African cricketers like Smith, Kallis etc who have called time when they felt they were not contributing to the team - compare this with other cricketes like Cook recently, Laxman at the end of his days etc who continued to inisist they deserved a spot in the team even though they were not performing.

  • on August 3, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    Too hard to judge between Kallis and Sobers - both excellent and easily the two best all-rounders I have seen.

  • Amol_Gh on August 2, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    Since all the other legends have been dragged in here for the comparison, I would say Kallis is the greatest Cricketer OVERALL ever (the greatest batsmen being Sachin and Lara) . I put Kallis ahead of Sobers, he being comparable to Sobers for being a batting all-rounder and not a bowling one (Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Hadlee, Pollock etc).

  • MaruthuDelft on August 1, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    @ Gulzar Nathani . Imran and Kallis are many levels lower than Richards and Sobers. And no one is comparable with Don Bradman; not even Pele and Muhammed Ali. Don Bradman is the greatest sportsman ever.

  • on August 1, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    Congratulation to the Great Jacques Kallis , I enjoyed his game. His consistency is equal to the Great Legends Sachin Tendulkar, Rickiponting , Garfield Sobers, Hats up & Best Wishes.

  • on August 1, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    the best all round cricketer I have ever seen after Imran khan!!!! he has shown us the ability to perform in the most crucial stage in the name of game of uncertain "CRICKET"!Salute you buddy!

  • Y2G_87 on August 1, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    Good decision, all the senior players should take this into consideration.

    If a player who feel's he might not be fit in future games and quits playing cricket, then why not senior players who are not fit, are not leaving spot for younger players to get in.

    Even though this will not be applicable for all the teams, it will with Indian cricket team, where still lot of talented players waiting for a chance.

    Keep going Kallis, there are lot many things in this world other than playing cricket, world requires contribution from great people like him in other fields as well.

  • on August 1, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    To me, the greatest all round cricketer.

  • on August 1, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    today one of the greatest player of cricket has retired from the 22 yard pitch.Nobody can match him because he has taken 250+ wickets & 11,000+ runs both in test and ODI in international cricket . He did not play for him rather than he always played for his country and other cricket teams.He is one of the legends of cricket.He is known as the greatest all rounder of all times. Me and your fans will never forget you and we salute you for giving us inspiration,entertainment,and showing your determination towards cricket.You will always be my sporting idol "KING KALLIS"

  • D.Sharma on August 1, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    @AltafPatel woah woah waoh. Not one of Dravid's 210 catches was a good one? He slipped against spinners like Harbhajan and Kumble whereas Kallis didn't slip against quality spinners. For example, watch Dravid's 200 catch. Kallis was absolute champion in all three fields, but as a slip catcher and batsmen Dravid eclipses him by a touch.

  • Ms.Cricket on August 1, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    It is great to see recent South African cricketers like Smith, Kallis etc who have called time when they felt they were not contributing to the team - compare this with other cricketes like Cook recently, Laxman at the end of his days etc who continued to inisist they deserved a spot in the team even though they were not performing.

  • MelbourneMiracle on August 1, 2014, 3:34 GMT

    Kallis = The Mandela of SA Cricket!

  • on August 1, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    One of the greatest all- rounder ever seen. The first thing which comes to my mind about his defensive technique like rock solid cricketer in front of wickets. The only thing which let him down was not winning a world cup for his country. (A modern kapil Dev).

  • on July 31, 2014, 23:58 GMT

    I would place Kallis amongst the top 5 of all times including Sobers , Bradman, Richards and Imran. This is my own unbiased list. Gulzar

  • here2rock on July 31, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    Kallis was a luxury for South African cricket, he will be sorely missed. There was nothing he could not do on a cricket field.

  • on July 31, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    Come on CricInfo, we need a like button that we can use when we see other readers comments. It will add immensely to the comments section. Imagine if we can have the posts at the top that garner the most likes! ... BTW I like Srusti Ranjan comment.

  • __PK on July 31, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    SA will win the next World Cup now he's gone. BellCurve you should have said "...and not losing is your objective..." and then maybe you'd have been more believable.

  • AltafPatel on July 31, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    @Srusti Ranjan In fielding, he was more than Dravid. Not only hundreds of catches, but you can have lots of brilliant catches from him, whereas Dravid hasn't even one catch that can be called brilliant. Kallis was catching in sleep against furious bowling from Donald, Ntini, Steyn, Morkel etc.

  • Z.Majid on July 31, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    Kallis!!! The greatest cricketer of all time Tendulkar was only a great batsman,Kallis is a great batsman and a good all rounder

  • here2rock on July 31, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    A true pro in all formats of the game, hats off to you sir.

  • beyondcricket on July 31, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    I would rate Jacques Kallis the best Test player in the last decade and half or two decades, and Sachin Tendulkar the best ODI player. There are several players who have been been exemplary at batting or bowling, the likes of Lara, Ponting, Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath, Chanderpaul, Dravid, Laxman, Murali, the list goes on....but the kind of influence the two have had in Test and ODI arena is simply unparalleled.

  • VarunAGVU on July 31, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Jacques Henry Kallis, the Everest among mountain peaks, the Nile among rivers, the Sahara among deserts, unparalleled to this day, a man whose cricketing magnanimity, not that it is clandestine as on today, would be revealed in actuality when the current era becomes a thing of the past, with no biases of contemporaneous and yesteryear perceptions, bids adieu in the most serene manner. I have been overwhelmed with the extent, diversity and effect of your accomplishments, and more so by the manner of its acquisition. Unperturbed, focused, relentless, clinical, ... Thank you Kallis. The only comprehensive practical cricket manual. As my friend puts it, 'Would you still watch cricket?'.

  • Kashi0127 on July 31, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    I always felt Kallis was one of the greatest cricketers world has seen. Rarely got the recognition he deserved. He is lot bigger than some of the contemporaries like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jayawardane and even Dravid. But rarely ever he got the kind of accolades the others got.

    All the best for a Happy Retired life Kallis!

  • on July 31, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    So, this is the end of an incredible career. Kallis was always underrated in ODIs as Test Cricket was his best format. However, he was superb with the bat and also very decent with the ball in Limited-overs Cricket. He was the backbone of the SA batting line-up for many years and led his team to many wins. The time of retirement was very unselfish. He had a strong desire to win a World Cup for his team, but left when he realized he was no longer the cricketer he once was. Kallis also gave up Test Cricket after he had an ordinary year in 2013. A lot of players find it difficult to call it quits even after they are way past their best and have become a liability to the side. Farewell, Kallis!

  • on July 31, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Jacque Kallis simply played all formats of the game the right way from start to finish. He has earned respect from players and fans from all countries which takes a lot of doing. He didn't seem concerned about the statistics and had confidence that that what he left in the oval was what he could give every day.

  • here2rock on July 31, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    What a cricketer ! A model for all young cricketers.

  • on July 31, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    If Kallis was in Indian team he would be called as God. Just imagine him matching batting with Sachin and Dravid and bowling with a Srinath and fielding if not Dravid atleast with Sunil Gavaskar !! These 3 department from one player is unbelievable.

    I think the amount of cricket played these days it wouldnt be early to say Kallis kind of players can not be produced any more.

  • BellCurve on July 31, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    @ PaddynairrBlr - Gibbs, Mark Waugh, Ganguly and Laxman all had lots of flair. But who would prefer to have playing in your Test team? If Test cricket is your game and winning is your objective, Kallis is your man. He is right up there with Bradman, Sobers, Imran Khan and Aubrey Faulkner.

  • Nduru on July 31, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Kallis had a lack of Flair, PaddynairBlr? Did you ever watch him bat?

  • PPL11 on July 31, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    Seems like only few legends left in current cricket arena !! but thats how it goes you have to empty your seat for another legend, it was really pleasure to watch Kalis as a cricketer... now only few left Mahela, Sanga, Clarke then i think cricketing world will be empty of playing legends

  • on July 31, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    cricket produce situations that seperates boys from men and men from gladiators and kallis is one of that gladiator. A blue blooded all rounder .no replacement for such a gifted cricketer.

  • Sexysteven on July 31, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    I'm akiwi but kallis was one of my favourites to watch his technique very classical and correct ahoy to watch in full flow he was a great all rounder but the fact is he was a great batsman he would make any team as abatmen alone that's how good his batting was the fact he was adecent bowler was Hugh bonus for the proteas to me judging him as all rounder under values how good his batting even though his bowling was good enough so you kind of have to talk about his all round skills the proteas and the cricketing world will only now begin to realise how good kallis was hopefully he will get the credit he deserves now cos as soon as saw him first play I always knew he was great and always wondered it took so long for many people to give him some respect cos his stats were always at least as good as some of the greats

  • on July 31, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    undisputedly ur the best and greatest all rounder of all time in cricket....Happy after retire life kallis. ..I loved ur game so much...#respect

  • PaddynairBlr on July 31, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    The only weakness Kallis had was lack of flair.But then you cannot have both flair and solidity.He was a combination of Gavaskar & Kapil Dev as regards his batting ,bowling & fielding.Though not quite in the class of Sobers(who is) he is certainly the next best allrounder-a notch above Hadlee,Imran,Kapil,Bothamm & Miller

  • Romanticstud on July 31, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Longevity is a gift from God ... Kallis was given that ... I know he spent hours on and off the field playing and preparing both physically and mentally for each game ... As the body grows older, so the body takes longer to heal and it is harder to keep in peak fitness ... After 18+ years in the field, diving around, hitting cricket balls, bending one's back, bowling the ball, catching cricket balls ... The body takes physical strain ... But also the mind plays games with you and asks questions like: "Should I be exerting my body to all this?" ... So it is with regret that a great player has to retire ... but then the greats of the past are not playing any more too ... We look forward to other greats ... but for now FAREWELL KING KALLIS ... The greatest all-round cricketer, the complete cricketer of the generation ... The stats show that he stuck around when his team needed him to ... Runs, wickets, catches ... They say catches win matches ... WELL DONE on a SUPERB career ...

  • on July 31, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    The first and the only international cricketer who has scored 10,000+ runs and taken 250+ wickets in both tests and ODIs. Great all-rounder, a great and safest of fielders.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 31, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    The first and the only international cricketer who has scored 10,000+ runs and taken 250+ wickets in both tests and ODIs. Great all-rounder, a great and safest of fielders.

  • Romanticstud on July 31, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Longevity is a gift from God ... Kallis was given that ... I know he spent hours on and off the field playing and preparing both physically and mentally for each game ... As the body grows older, so the body takes longer to heal and it is harder to keep in peak fitness ... After 18+ years in the field, diving around, hitting cricket balls, bending one's back, bowling the ball, catching cricket balls ... The body takes physical strain ... But also the mind plays games with you and asks questions like: "Should I be exerting my body to all this?" ... So it is with regret that a great player has to retire ... but then the greats of the past are not playing any more too ... We look forward to other greats ... but for now FAREWELL KING KALLIS ... The greatest all-round cricketer, the complete cricketer of the generation ... The stats show that he stuck around when his team needed him to ... Runs, wickets, catches ... They say catches win matches ... WELL DONE on a SUPERB career ...

  • PaddynairBlr on July 31, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    The only weakness Kallis had was lack of flair.But then you cannot have both flair and solidity.He was a combination of Gavaskar & Kapil Dev as regards his batting ,bowling & fielding.Though not quite in the class of Sobers(who is) he is certainly the next best allrounder-a notch above Hadlee,Imran,Kapil,Bothamm & Miller

  • on July 31, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    undisputedly ur the best and greatest all rounder of all time in cricket....Happy after retire life kallis. ..I loved ur game so much...#respect

  • Sexysteven on July 31, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    I'm akiwi but kallis was one of my favourites to watch his technique very classical and correct ahoy to watch in full flow he was a great all rounder but the fact is he was a great batsman he would make any team as abatmen alone that's how good his batting was the fact he was adecent bowler was Hugh bonus for the proteas to me judging him as all rounder under values how good his batting even though his bowling was good enough so you kind of have to talk about his all round skills the proteas and the cricketing world will only now begin to realise how good kallis was hopefully he will get the credit he deserves now cos as soon as saw him first play I always knew he was great and always wondered it took so long for many people to give him some respect cos his stats were always at least as good as some of the greats

  • on July 31, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    cricket produce situations that seperates boys from men and men from gladiators and kallis is one of that gladiator. A blue blooded all rounder .no replacement for such a gifted cricketer.

  • PPL11 on July 31, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    Seems like only few legends left in current cricket arena !! but thats how it goes you have to empty your seat for another legend, it was really pleasure to watch Kalis as a cricketer... now only few left Mahela, Sanga, Clarke then i think cricketing world will be empty of playing legends

  • Nduru on July 31, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Kallis had a lack of Flair, PaddynairBlr? Did you ever watch him bat?

  • BellCurve on July 31, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    @ PaddynairrBlr - Gibbs, Mark Waugh, Ganguly and Laxman all had lots of flair. But who would prefer to have playing in your Test team? If Test cricket is your game and winning is your objective, Kallis is your man. He is right up there with Bradman, Sobers, Imran Khan and Aubrey Faulkner.

  • on July 31, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    If Kallis was in Indian team he would be called as God. Just imagine him matching batting with Sachin and Dravid and bowling with a Srinath and fielding if not Dravid atleast with Sunil Gavaskar !! These 3 department from one player is unbelievable.

    I think the amount of cricket played these days it wouldnt be early to say Kallis kind of players can not be produced any more.