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Updated: December 31, 2013 00:03 IST

‘Proud of my achievements’

K. C. Vijaya Kumar
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The legendary Jacques Kallis’s final day at the office was made memorable by his South African teammates as they completed a comprehensive win to clinch the series.
AP The legendary Jacques Kallis’s final day at the office was made memorable by his South African teammates as they completed a comprehensive win to clinch the series.

All-rounder extraordinaire Kallis reflects on a prolific Test career

The moment he sat down for his press conference here on Monday evening, the media spontaneously applauded and he shyly mumbled, ‘thanks guys.’ Jacques Kallis looked embarrassed. He nodded his head, smiled a bit and his eyes had that long-lost look.

Limelight is not something he can deal with but on a day when he walked the earth for one last time as a Test cricketer, one of the game’s greatest icons dropped his reticence a little and spoke about his motives and his cricket.

Excerpts

The final decision: I  have been chatting with Graeme (Smith) for a little while, spoke to Bouchy (Mark Boucher) for a while and the players. I just thought that I lost that little bit of edge in Test cricket. Mentally it is always tough across five days and I have always thought that if I can’t give a 100 per cent then I don’t want to be in the team.

I just thought I had 18 wonderful years and I think it is time. When I started, I thought when I leave I should leave South African cricket in the best place that I could. Hopefully I have done that.

How did you arrive at this decision and how has the journey been so far? There have been changes on the field. I have changed a little bit, I have got older, a little bit wiser, lost a little bit of hair, gained a little bit of hair. I really have been fortunate to have the people who stuck with me and I have stuck with them.  I have had some incredible coaches like Bob Woolmer, Duncan Fletcher and these guys have played a massive role.

166 Tests, stuff of dreams?: I played garden cricket with my sister and I used to think she might play for South Africa. I have been fortunate. Every game I always thought it was a privilege and my last game and I did my best for the team.

2015 World Cup: I certainly have to play a lot of one-day cricket leading up to that and play some Twenty20 around the world. By the time the World Cup comes and if I am good enough to be selected, then I want to play the best one-day cricket in my life.

Low-key exit: I think it is probably my personality. All my career it has been a low-key and I never enjoyed the media too much. I just enjoyed getting on with my game. Cricket South Africa was brilliant with the way they did it (his retirement game) and we got the balance right.

Tendulkar’s 51 Test hundreds, an added motivation to stay on?: I never played the game for records. May be one day I will look back with pride at what I achieved. He was an incredible player and I don’t think it would have been easy to do that but I am proud of what I have achieved.

Friendships and a quiet time: In the last 18 years, the last year was one that I spent Christmas at home and it was an eye-opener. Want to catch up with my sister, friends, family and catch up with times that have gone past.

Bouchy (Boucher) is like a brother to me and cricket afforded that to me and I am thankful about that. I have friends in that dressing room, who will stay with me away from cricket and that is important.

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Jacques Kallis is really a great all-rounder his performance never forget by cricket lovers, his journey was so good and proud, till now I did not see the cricketer like Kallis , he is the best all-rounder .
Wish you good luck

\Oman

from:  gulam
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 16:01 IST

What a career? More than his batting, bowling & fielding, his low key
nature endeared him to all. He was the best all rounder after Gary
Sobers and his records will take time to be broken. Kallis, thank you
for all the pleasure you gave, be active in your post-retirement life.

from:  H.V.GURU MURTHY
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 13:28 IST

"One of the most humble guys of world of cricket has ever seen,J Kallis, has bid adieu to international Test cricket.
A genuine batsman with a defiant approach in critical situations has proved more than n-times what he is worth . It is said that being successful is one thing & staying at the helm is altogether a different story. Kallis has proved beyond doubts that it needs sheer guts & unwavering courage,determination to be at top.
And indeed he is leaving SA Test-cricket on a high note. As he said in his interview that when time would come to call it a day, he wanted to witness cricket SA on top side. It would be fulfilling for him to see SA as top test team & his efforts in taking,which he has been tirelessly doing for so long, SA to reach an enviable position. It is going to a herculean task for any youngster taking his slot.
An epitome of humbleness who has never been dragged in to controversies is a lesson which every cricketer must learn.
An envious career for many.

from:  Ashish Kumar
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 13:07 IST

I take my hat off to King Kallis for his wonderful achievements spread over the last 18 years. His baptism into test cricket was not similar to that of Ganguly's or Dravid's. Looking at his average of first twenty matches, it was below par, yet his bowling returns were pretty impressive. From then on, he picked up his batting skills and never compromised on his bowling performances.

Another reason for his success is his fitness. He has been very lucky with it. No major surgeries on his body meant he could play in all the matches and give his 100%.

Wishing Kallis a wonder post-retirement life.

from:  Divakar Venkatramani
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 11:38 IST

I never such a all rounder like kallis

from:  siva
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 08:15 IST
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