You won’t find me sitting in our Parliament: Kallis

The South African great speaks about Tendulkar, politics and pressures of the game.


Calcutta: Jacques Kallis, clearly one of the greats of the present times, spoke to The Telegraph on Friday evening. Kallis, 36, is the numero uno star in the Kolkata Knight Riders’s line-up. The following are excerpts:

Q: Sachin Tendulkar has been recommended as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha. Could we, at some point, see you in South Africa’s Parliament?

Kallis: (Laughs) No... No... Politics isn’t for me, definitely not.

But that had been Sachin’s stand too...

Perhaps, but you won’t find me sitting in our Parliament.

What was your reaction when you heard that Sachin would soon become a Member of Parliament?

I found it interesting... We need a life after cricket and, obviously, Sachin must be having an interest (in politics). Good luck to him.

Is it necessary for achievers outside politics to actually enter the political arena to do something more?

Each individual knows where his interest lies and what his strengths are. So, it’s up to the individuals concerned. As I’ve said, cricketers have to also look at a life outside the game. Look at options after retirement.

Have you looked up to, so to say, any politician?

I’ve followed a bit of politics, but never been very involved... So, no.

“A bit of politics...” Are you a rightist or a leftist or a centrist in your beliefs?

Well... I’d rather keep my very personal views personal.

You’ve met Nelson Mandela more than once. What did you come away feeling?

He’s a fantastic man and what he has done for our country is incredible. He’s very humble himself and meeting him is a humbling experience.

To talk of Sachin, the cricketer... How would you assess him?

Forget his stats... For me, what’s very special is the way Sachin has played the game, for over two decades, and the kind of role model he has been.

What has made Sachin such a special batsman?

Technique, timing, commitment... Everything. As a world-class player, Sachin’s faced a lot of pressure, but delivered.

How have you handled pressure?

By putting in the hard work... It’s like cracking an exam... You put in the hours and, therefore, are ready for everything... You cover your bases, which allows you to stay in a relaxed frame of mind.

Many feel Sachin should retire from ODIs. Must the world have an opinion on everything about him?

Look, Sachin will know when he’s had enough... He alone will know... He’s man enough to make that call.

Finally... What can the youngsters learn the most from Sachin?

That if you put in the hard work, run the hard yards, then you will get the results. Sachin has always been humble, so there’s something else to learn too.

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