Sunil Gavaskar hails `retiring` Kallis as one of `all-time great players`
Johannesburg: Former South African captains Shaun Pollock and Kepler Wessels and Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar have hailed all-rounder Jacques Kallis as one of the country`s all-time great cricketers following the announcement that he will retire from Test cricket after this week`s Test match against India at Kingsmead.
Gavaskar, who is commentating on the South Africa- India series, said that Kallis would have to be considered for a world all-time XI, adding that with the exception of the unique player, none of the great all-rounders in the world could be selected as either a specialist batsman or a bowler.
According to Sport24, both former Proteas captains said they were not totally surprised by Kallis` decision to retire, although both said they had thought he might prolong his Test career until the end of an upcoming series against Australia, which ends at Newlands, his home ground, in March.
Pollock said that Kallis has been responsible for taking South African cricket to a new level, as an all-rounder and specifically as a batsman, adding that he pushed the benchmark for Test batsmen from an average of 40 to the next level.
Pollock also said that Kallis would go down in the country`s cricketing history as one of the legends of the game, including Sir Garfield Sobers.
Wessels, whose playing career spanned that of Kallis as well as those of Graeme Pollock and Barry Richards, said the total package provided by Kallis made him `probably the best player South Africa has produced`, which comes in a rich tradition of magnificent players.