Home > Features >

10 little known facts about Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis was a superb performer for South Africa © Getty Images
Jacques Kallis was a superb performer for South Africa © Getty Images

As Jacques Kallis’s illustrious career comes to an end, Abhishek Mukherjee and Nishad Pai Vaidya pay a tribute with some little-known titbits on the man they called King.

Finally, the moment we had all dreaded: Jacques Kallis announced his retirement a mere seven months before what could have been his final World Cup. Like Graeme Smith (who became the first Test batsman to finish in the 9,000s when it came to Test runs), Kallis resisted the temptation to bow out of the grandest of all stages in limited-overs cricket — the Holy Grail that has always remained elusive to the Rainbow Nation.

Here, then, is a list of little-known facts about the greatest cricketer of our times (this does not include the fact that Rameez Raja refers to him as Yack Kallis).

1) His old man

Kallis was extremely close to his father Henry. When Kallis senior was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his son took time out of the sport to be with his father. When Henry Kallis finally passed away at 65, Jacques changed his One-Day International jersey to the same number.

2) It’s all in the family

Kallis’ sister Janine is a cheerleader for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). When Jacques — playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the second edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) — was dismissed, Janine actually celebrated the dismissal of her brother. Jacques took the entire event rather sportingly and mentioned that he was impressed by her dance at his dismissal.

3) Mr Consistency

Known for his consistency, Kallis did not exactly have a dream debut: from his first seven innings (played over five Tests, all at home) Kallis had reached double-figures only once, and his numbers had been languishing at 57 runs at 8.14. Then he took off — until he came to a halt after 18 years.

4) The man who hit them big

People would probably remember Kallis as a stone-waller, but he did end up hitting the second-most sixes in Tests when he retired. His tally of 97 (96 for South Africa, one for ICC World XI) is next to only Adam Gilchrist’s tally of exactly 100. Since Kallis’s retirement Chris Gayle has also caught up with him, and is on 97 at the time of writing this article. For the sake of information, AB de Villiers comes next among South Africans with 50 sixes.

He is on 13th in the ODI list with 137 sixes, but is well clear of Herschelle Gibbs’ 128. This makes him the most prolific ODI six-hitter among South Africans. “When he hit them, they stayed hit,” Ravi Shastri would have said.

5) Too small to hit?

Kallis was dropped from the Western Province Under-15 side because — you have to believe it — “he was too small to hit the ball off the square” (Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great SA Cricket All-Rounders, Ali Bacher and David Williams). When he got to know of this, Kallis responded with “I’ll show them,” and made his way back promptly. He is not exactly “small” these days.

6) The Asian giant

With 2,058 runs at 55.62 from 25 Tests, Kallis is the only non-Asian to have scored over 2,000 Test runs in Asia. Though Ricky Ponting (the next man on the list with 1,889) runs has quit, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (1,850) and Alastair Cook (1,802) both stand with realistic chances of getting past him.

7) Deaf?

Great batsmen are usually oblivious to sledging, but Kallis took things to another plane. On one occasion Michael Kasprowicz kept on foul-mouthing him, but to zero impact. “Kasper” kept on bouncing at him, then, after giving a bouncer his all, sledging again — all without any effect — an exasperated Kasprowicz panted in despair: “Is this man f**king deaf?”

8) The national anthem mystery

The fact that Kallis does not sing the national anthem has intrigued many. As Gerald Majola explained, “Jacques (Kallis told me that he sings the anthem in his heart in a quiet moment in remembrance of his parents and in gratitude for what they did to allow him to be good enough to represent his country. He has great respect for the anthem and cherishes every moment he has represented South Africa around the world.”

9) The Springbok that never was

Kallis was a rugby fly-half in his teens; in fact, he was good enough for MPC Entertainment to mention that he “could just as easily have been starring for the Springboks as the Proteas.” While he never became a double-international, he co-authored Rugby in Our Blood with rugby union coach Jake White, Olympic gold-medallist rower John Smith, sports journalist Angus Powers, and the iconic sprinter Oscar Pistorius.

10) Hair in his eyes?

On December 21, 2010, Kallis met with a minor accident (but emerged unscathed) while driving his Audi R8 at Wynberg. The cheeky Mark Boucher did not hesitate to have a go at Kallis, fresh from a recent hair transplant: “Think my mate’s hair must have got into his eyes while driving last night.”

Catch all stories related to Jacques Kallis’ retirement here

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

Photos

West Indies vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test at Gros Islet

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Sourav Ganguly: Hope India-Pakistan cricket starts soon

Cape Cobras (CC) vs Northern Knights (NK) CLT20 2014 Match 3: Cape Cobras’ likely XI

Cape Cobras (CC) vs Northern Knights (NK) CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) in CLT20 2014 – Highlights

Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Mumbai Indians Northern Knights Pakistan West Indies

James Anderson hopes to utlise Sri Lanka ODI series for World Cup preparation

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 Match 4 Preview: Scorchers start with slight advantage

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel

Asian Games 2014: Absence of India and Pakistan gives minor nations a good chance

Afghanistan to start ICC World Cup 2015 preparatory tour in Australia and New Zealand

Chris Cairns cleaning bus shelters? Why?

Cape Cobras vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 3: Northern Knights’ likely XI

Sourav Ganguly: Hope India-Pakistan cricket starts soon

Cape Cobras (CC) vs Northern Knights (NK) CLT20 2014 Match 3: Cape Cobras’ likely XI

Cape Cobras (CC) vs Northern Knights (NK) CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

Scoop: Varun Dhawan makes it official with girlfriend Natasha Dalal!

Selfie addiction may lead to low self-esteem

Can designer genes end insomnia?

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel

Defending Australian Open Champion Li Na announces retirement from Tennis

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Group A, Match 1 CLT20 2014

Dil Dosti Dance, Tu Mere Agal Bagal Hai, and Ek Boond Ishq to go off air

HOT: Miley Cyrus strips naked for V Magazine

NGOs pursue education for all

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here