Kallis clarifies his future
Jacques Kallis (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Jacques Kallis still has further aspirations for South Africa at both Test and one-day international level.
This was confirmed to Sport24 on Thursday, in response to inquiries, by his long-time manager, the former SA and Western Province off-spinner Dave Rundle.
Speculation has understandably swirled since Kallis revealed that for “personal reasons” he did not wish to be considered for the Proteas’ squad for the looming ICC Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom.
A Johannesburg newspaper which first reported that Kallis had withdrawn, also suggested the decision may have scuppered his goal of a swansong World Cup tournament in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, and that there “might even be doubt” about his future in the Test format.
Kallis is in India, playing in the latest edition of the Indian Premier League, and has not yet personally gone on record about his Champions Trophy “bypass”.
But Rundle said: “Jacques feels he needs some time out (of the game) ... in that time, we are planning the next two years.
“He still wants to continue playing for the Proteas, especially in Tests, and his dream at the moment to go to the World Cup is still there.
“The decision taken now has no effect on his ongoing commitments to South Africa - this is short-term, and should be viewed as such.”
Fans of the 37-year-old Kallis, one of cricket’s all-time greats, will be particularly relieved to learn of his ongoing intentions in the hallowed five-day arena, even if the player himself is bound to be aware of the potential pitfalls of not making himself available to the national team’s ODI plans.
The last of his 321 appearances in the 50-overs code was against New Zealand at Napier in February 2012, and if the Proteas fare strongly at the Champions Trophy in June and continuity in selection is considered prudent, he may find it hard to be guaranteed a place at the next World Cup.
At the same time, his impeccable record and versatile skills cannot simply be brushed beneath the carpet ...Proteas ICC Champions Trophy squad:
AB de Villiers
(Titans - captain), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Farhaan Behardien
(Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Colin Ingram
(Warriors), Rory Kleinveldt (Cape Cobras), Ryan McLaren (Knights),
David Miller (Dolphins), Morne Morkel (Titans), Robbie Peterson (Cape
Cobras), Aaron Phangiso (Highveld Lions), Graeme Smith (Cape Cobras),
Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Dolphins)*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing