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The end of a king’s reign


Words: Nabila Ismail | Photos: Various

The nearly 19-year-long cricket career of South Africa’s number three batsman, known by many as King Kallis, has come to an end, as the legend has announced his retirement from international cricket across all three formats of the game.


After retiring from the Test format of the game in December 2013, Jacques Kallis, 38, had declared his intention of ending his South African cricketing career as part of a successful Proteas squad at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. However, following a poor one-day tour in Sri Lanka in which he went out for 0, 1 and 4 runs in the three match series, the cricket great has confirmed his decision to retire from international limited-overs' formats as well.

"I realised in Sri Lanka that my dream of playing in a World Cup was a bridge too far," Kallis said in a statement. "I just knew on that tour that I was done. The squad that was in Sri Lanka is an amazing one and I believe they have a good chance of bringing the trophy home in March.

"I would like to thank Cricket South Africa, the team, the team sponsors, my sponsors, the fans and all the people who have been involved in my career. It has been an amazing journey.

"I am not retiring from all cricket as I have a two-year contract with the Sydney Thunder and, if possible, to help the Kolkata Knight Riders defend the IPL title we won earlier this year," clarified the cricketer.

Tributes and messages of good-will poured in from fellow cricketers, coaches, commentators and lovers of the game across the world on all social networks.

Arguably the greatest ever cricketer retires...cricket will miss you, @jacqueskallis75!
- Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) July 30, 2014

Congrats to @jacqueskallis75 on a oustanding career. world cricket will miss you. amazing stats but more importantly a match winner #legend
- VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) July 30, 2014

There are few cricketers who have made as big an impact as @jacqueskallis75 did in his career. Congratulations on your great career.
- Sanjay Bangar (@ImSanjayBangar) July 30, 2014

One of the most influential cricketers of all time calls stumps, congratulations @jacqueskallis75 on an amazing career. #Legend
- Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) July 30, 2014

Jacques Kallis. An absolute pleasure to play against you. An all rounder I always admired a lot. #legend
- Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) July 30, 2014

Need a wicket? Kallis#need a run?kallis#need to take a catch in slip? Kallis #kallis Kallis Kallis Kallis will be missed by us and Africa
- Saeed Bariwala (@abariwala) July 31, 2014

Thanks number three, @jacqueskallis75. T'was a pleasure...
- Iain O'Brien (@iainobrien) July 30, 2014

Jacque Kallis is the Greatest ever Allrounder IMO... The international game will miss him... #Kallis
- Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 30, 2014

Congratulations to @jacqueskallis75 on a brilliant career. One of the games greatest ever players & best all rounder of my era. #classact
- Alec Stewart (@StewieCricket) July 30, 2014

If someone asked me, "Who would you want to bat for your life?", I'd say: "What sort of demented judicial process is this?" #kallis
- Scott Oliver (@reverse_sweeper) July 30, 2014

Despite his poor form in Sri Lanka, which prompted his retirement, there is no doubting the skill and prowess of Kallis throughout his career. His ability to remain calm and comfortable irrespective of the pitch, spin or pace he was facing as a batsman and his brutal skill as a fast-bowler will never be forgotten, as Kallis has achieved one of the most astounding records in cricket history:
* The legend ends his cricketing career having appeared in 166 Test matches in which he has scored 13,289 runs - including 45 centuries - achieving an average of 55.37, and claiming 292 wickets.
* In the ODI format of the game, Kallis boasts 11579 runs - including 17 centuries - scored in 328 matches, achieving an average of 44.36, and claiming 273 wickets.
* Kallis has also appeared in 25 T20 internationals, scoring 666 runs - including five 50s - achieving an average of 26.64, and claiming four wickets in a single match.