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Kallis retires from international cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff
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All-rounder Jacques Kallis scored 13,289 runs and took 292 wickets in 166 Test matches for South Africa © Associated Press
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Jacques Kallis has announced his retirement from international cricket, across all three formats. The South Africa batsman had quit Tests late last year and decided to call time on his limited-overs career after the recent poor one-day tour of Sri Lanka.

Kallis will, however, continue to play T20 franchise cricket for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and for Sydney Thunder in the BBL. He ends his ODI career with 11,579 runs in 328 matches with 17 centuries and 86 fifties at an average of 44.36.

He played 25 T20s, scoring 666 runs with five fifties. He is the only South African batsman with more than 10,000 runs in Tests and ODIs. Kallis had played his final Test in December 2013 against India in Durban, finishing with 13,289 runs in 166 matches with 45 centuries, 58 fifties at an average of 55.37. His last T20 was in October 2012.

Kallis, 38, had plans of playing the 2015 World Cup and was part of South Africa's ODI plans in the build-up. However, he managed scores of just nought, one and four in the three ODIs in Sri Lanka recently.

"I realised in Sri Lanka that my dream of playing in a World Cup was a bridge too far," Kallis said in a statement. "Ï 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."

Kallis' ODI future was in the balance last year when he went on a ODI hiatus for a year and nine months. He had opted out of the 2013 Champions Trophy for personal reasons and did not join the team for a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in August and the Pakistan series in the UAE. He used the winter break to reassess his future and spoke to coach Russell Domingo about playing one more global tournament. He thus made a return for the home ODIs against Pakistan and India towards the end of 2013. However, he was well below his best since his return, scoring just one fifty in seven games.

The national selectors were planning to rest a few players for the upcoming three-match bilateral ODI series in Zimbabwe, but send a full-strength squad for the tri-series to follow. The challenge for the selectors was to build the team around Kallis and in the past, Faf du Plessis was left out to accommodate him.

"South Africa has been blessed with one of the world's greatest cricketing talents in Jacques Kallis," said CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat. "He is undeniably one of the greatest players ever to have graced our wonderful game and he has certainly been the Proteas standard-bearer of excellence for nearly two decades.

"He has played a huge part in making cricket a truly national sport of winners and, in doing so, contributed so much to the important process of nation building. He is a true professional and it has been an absolute privilege to have worked with him both as Convener of selectors and now as chief executive."

"To say that we will miss him on the playing field is stating the obvious. Each one of us from this day on will treasure the many fond memories of his awesome career."

Though he had an illustrious career as a batsman, spanning close to 19 years, he was never a full-time captain. He led the side in two Tests, both at home against Australia, and 13 ODIs as a stop-gap.

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