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Want to play best cricket of my life in World Cup, says Jacques Kallis

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 - 12:26pm IST | Agency: DNA
After his final Test, Kallis says he looks forward to time in golf course. Excerpts...
  • AP

On what journalists will write now!
(Laughs) I am sure you will have plenty (to write), you could write about my golf!

On the decision to retire
I have been chatting with Graeme (Smith) for a little while, spoke to (Mark) Bouchy 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 with the World Cup next, I think it is time. I know there will always be questions about whether it was right but in my mind I knew. When I started my cricket I thought when I leave I should leave South African cricket in the best place that I could. Hopefully I have done that.

On whether he thought of playing for so long
Not in my wildest dreams. I remember the first time I played my game, I was nervous. I have played garden cricket with my sister and I used to think she might play for South Africa. 166 Test matches! I don’t think anyone dreams about that. I have been very fortunate, lucky and blessed to be able to do that.

On his World Cup dreams
I think this will give me a lot of time to work on my one-day skills and I have one whole year to work on my one-day stuff and not worry about Test cricket. It is going to be fantastic from that point of view. I have to manage the workload and looks like I certainly have to play a lot of one-day cricket leading up to that and try and become the best player that I can and play some Twenty20 around the world, by the time the World Cup comes and I am good enough to be selected into that side then I want to play the best cricket in my life and hopefully the best one-day cricket in my life.

On his future
The amount I have gained from the game, it would be pretty stupid not to give something back to the game. In the future, who knows I could be a mentor or something on the coaching side but I certainly would look at it in the future.

On why he chose to have a low-key exit
I think it is probably my personality. All my career I have been low-key and I never enjoyed the media too much or fronting up too much, I just enjoyed getting on with my game. I leave that to the other guys who are out there with their personalities. CSA was brilliant with the way they did it, everybody was happy and I could still play a normal Test.

On life after cricket
Looking forward to playing some golf, looking at doing the normal things that people do day-to-day. I am looking at settling in, enjoy some time at home, spend some time with people I haven’t done in 18 years. 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 with times gone past.

On whether Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test hundreds motivated him to keep on playing
No, I never played the game for records. Records have never been important for me. Maybe one day I will look back with pride at what I achieved. He was an incredible players and I don’t think it would have been easy to do that but I am proud of what I have achieved. All those guys who have done 10,000-plus runs, I am happy to be a part of that (club).

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