Jacques Kallis retired from Test cricket in December 2013 © Getty Images

Jul 30, 2014

South African all-round great Jacques Kallis called time on his career spanning 19 years to bring down the curtains on one of the greatest careers of modern times and which included Australia’s two time Word Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting and Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar. Kallis is widely regarded as the greatest all-rounder to have played the game, surpassing even West Indies legend Garry Sobers. Armed with 300 wickets and over 10, 000 in both forms of the game, Kallis’ stellar display took South Africa to their only win in an ICC tournament. It was the ICC knockout in Dhaka in 1998.

Cape Town-born Kallis decided to retire from Tests in December 2013 in the two match Test series against India and signed off with a fabulous century in Durban in his farewell innings. His batting was known for his impregnable defence, the ability to occupy the crease for long periods of time. He could clear the ropes effortlessly. He often opened the bowling for the Proteas before the rise of Dale Steyn in the bowling ranks and generated some serious pace in his early days of his career.

Despite being the role model for a many of the current generation of batsman, he was never handed over the reins of captaincy. Kallis was given a fairytale send-off with his players carrying him on his shoulders after his last innings. At the time, it was understood that the 37-year old Kallis was preserving himself for the ICC World Cup 2015. Recently though, Kallis suffered a loss of form that started from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. His poor outing in the three One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Sri Lanka recently could have been a trigger for that. Having been an integral part of a team that went to the summit of the world cricket, the cricketing world will be deprived of one of the greatest men to step on the pitch.

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