Ashwell Prince (left) played alongside Jacques Kallis for nine years between 2002 and 2011 © Getty Images
Aug 3, 2014
Former South African batsman Ashwell Prince praised retired all-rounder Jacques Kallis by comparing him with former West Indian all-rounder and one of the game’s all-time greats, Garry Sobers.
“I think obviously his stats would suggest that he is one of the best of all time, the Sobers of our generation. I think the only way you can describe Jacques [Kallis] is by really looking at what he brought and meant to a team,” Prince was quoted as saying to Sportal.
Kallis announced his retirement from all forms of the game on Wednesday, two days after the conclusion of the second and final Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Colombo. The legendary South African all-rounder leaves behind a monumental record of 25,534 runs and 577 wickets.
Prince feels that his batting and bowling averages ought to be ranked alongside that of Sobers along with some of the most famous names in cricket. “I think his bowling stats would suggest he could’ve played purely as an out-and-out bowler, and his batting stats are up there with the likes of [Sachin] Tendulkar and [Ricky] Ponting, so when it comes to batting alone he was up in the highest class of batsmen,” said Prince.
Prince, who played alongside Kallis for nine years between 2002 and 2011, feels that Kallis’s retirement has left a void in the South African team which will be difficult, if not impossible, in the coming years. The Proteas, he feels are an evolving bunch and will take some time so settle down in the absence of several senior players.
“The South Africa team will obviously evolve; a lot of experienced senior players have retired in recent times so the team is evolving and eventually they will have a settled team. But he [Kallis] is a once in a generation type of player, so while they will find a different balance to the team I think they will always miss a player like him,” added Prince.