The South African cricket fraternity has poured tributes on all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who had announced that he will retire from Test and first-class cricket after the conclusion of the second Test against in India in Durban.
Kallis, who is still determined to play for the one day team at the 2015 World Cup, ends his career as the highest-placed active player as he scored 13 174 runs and took 292 wickets in 165 Test matches for South Africa.
According to Sport24, captain Graeme Smith praised the veteran’s achievements, but expressed sadness at his retirement, saying that it was a privilege for him to have played with the ‘great man’, and hoped to give him the send-off that he deserved over the next five days.
Coach Russell Domingo said that the team will miss Kallis’ presence as he had a huge impact on South African cricket as both a player and an individual, adding that Kallis’ calmness, maturity and presence in the change room will be missed by the team.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) President Chris Nenzani said Kallis’ retirement marked a changing of the guard in the world game given that he and the other two icons of the game, Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar departed the Test arena within a short space of time.
Describing Kallis as the ‘Proteas Rock of Gibraltar’, CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that even though Kallis's retirement was inevitable, it was still a blow to South African cricket that its greatest ever player and arguably the world's best allrounder was leaving the Test stage as he has been a stalwart for many years.