No retirement plans for Kallis
Jacques Kallis (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - South African cricket fans can relax - Jacques Kallis, has no intention of retiring just yet.
Kallis, generally accepted as the best all-rounder in the world, told journalists he was still enjoying all three formats, and had no intention of retiring from any of them in the immediate future.
"The day I wake up and it gets too much, I'm not really enjoying it, I'll stop," said the 34-year-old, who is currently ranked number one Test all-rounder and number four in one-day internationals.
"Certainly the Twenty20 format has been a new challenge for me, and something I've really enjoyed over the last two years. It's really helped me to develop my game - I've come a long way in the Twenty20 format. I think it will also help my Test cricket and my one-day cricket in terms of learning to improvise and other new things.
"As I sit here at the moment, I'm still fit enough to keep going and I enjoy all three formats."
He said it was sad that several other all-rounders had had to sacrifice one or two formats in order to continue playing.
"With the amount of cricket that is played around the world, it's tough.
"I've been fortunate in my career, I haven't been injured too often, but the life of an all-rounder is pretty tough," said Kallis. "It is tough on the body and that's probably why there are not so many top all-rounders still playing all three formats."
Kallis said he also wanted to continue bowling as well as batting.
"I enjoy both batting and bowling. Certainly in Test cricket, if I spend a day in the field without bowling, it feels like it's two days. Even in 50 over cricket, I feel long if I don't bowl.
"For me to give up bowling would be tough, and I'll only do that if my body tells me to."
Kallis reacted modestly when told that England's star batsman, South African-born Kevin Pietersen, had described him as the greatest cricketer that had ever lived.
"It's a great compliment, especially coming from a player like him" he said.
"But you've got to look at the stats - sure, the runs might be there and the wickets might be there, but we're playing a lot more cricket these days than the guys in yesteryears. I'm sure that if they'd played the amount of cricket that we play today, they would have achieved what modern-day cricketers achieve as well.
"If you play long enough, you're going to have a few runs and wickets behind your name," he laughed.
Kallis, who did not bowl in the Twenty20 match against England on Sunday, is expected to be able to bowl again in the one-day international at the Wanderers on Friday, after recovering from a side-strain.