Kallis knew it was time to quit test arena

DURBAN (Reuters) - Jacques Kallis said he knew the time was right to quit the test arena as he bowed out after an 18-year career with victory over India at Kingsmead on Monday.

The 38-year-old all-rounder, regarded as South Africa's finest cricketer, scored a farewell century on Sunday to help his side to a 10-wicket win and a series triumph in the meeting between the two top-ranked test-playing nations.

His 115 in South Africa's first innings also took him into third place on the list of all-time test batsmen, with 13,289 runs from 166 tests, behind only Sachin Tendulkar (15,921 runs) and Ricky Ponting (13,378).

Kallis surprised many with his decision to quit, catching the cricketing world unawares on Christmas Day with a statement saying the second test against India would be his last but that he would continue in the limited overs format. Usually it has been the other way round for top players.

"It was a tough call but people say there comes a days when you wake up and you realise it is time to quit," he told reporters.

"I felt it was the right time and to finish it off in this manner has been incredible, the way the people have come out to support me, the way Cricket South Africa have made it a special game, my team mates have made it a special game. I couldn't have hoped for a better exit."

Kallis was lifted briefly on the shoulders of his team mates as he made a post-game lap of honour around Kingsmead, waving to the crowd and at one point stopping to down a can of beer.

FITTING DEPARTURE

All his South African team mates wore a tee-shirt with his picture on the front and inscribed on the back was: "The only player to score 10 00 runs and take 200 wickets in test cricket".

Later they posed for individual pictures with him in a mark of the esteem in which he is held.

It was fitting he departed in Durban on the same ground he where he started his test career in 1995.

"I sat here the day before the game and as I looked out over the field, I realised an nothing much has changed (in my 18-year test career). I've just got a little bit older. I still had the same butterflies and nerves."

Kallis was greeted before he went out to bat on Saturday with a guard of honour from the Indian fielders, similar to the one they produced for Sachin Tendulkar when he finished his test career against the West Indies last month.

"Thanks to the Indian team for that guard of honour, that was really special. I'm glad I wasn't facing immediately because it gave me a few seconds to gather my thoughts. It was a really emotional moment," he added.

Kallis shed a brief tear too on Sunday when he reached his 45th test century, a figure bettered only by Tendulkar's 51, a departure from his usually stoic and quiet demeanour.

"I suppose I'll miss the cricket, but mostly the friendships, the winning times and the tough times. All that goes on in the change room," he added.

Kallis now turns his focus to the limited-overs game, with his only remaining ambition being success in the one-day World Cup, where South Africa have often been among the favourites but picked up a tag of 'chokers' after several dramatic failures.

"I still have a lot of hunger to push South Africa to that World Cup in 2015 if I am fit and performing," he said.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kohli wins the toss and puts Delhi into bat. Chris Gayle MISSES OUT!!! More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »