SA in New Zealand
Parore hails 'legend' Kallis
Wellington - There is nothing surprising or unusual in Jacques Kallis receiving praise from fellow professionals - not even from his direct adversaries - but the tribute paid by former Black Caps wicketkeeper Adam Parore on Saturday was especially effusive.
Parore writes an often strongly worded (some would say ‘outspoken’) column for the Weekend Herald but there was nothing inflammatory or gratuitously provocative about his assessment of South Africa’s greatest all-rounder. Well, perhaps just a bit:
“I’ll state my position on him from the outset - he is the best all-rounder of all time. This, of course, places him ahead of the legendary West Indian Garry Sobers, a call which borders on sacrilege to some,” Parore wrote.
“I’m not keen on comparing players across eras, but I can’t resist it with Kallis. If it came to picking an all-rounder for your life, Kallis would be the man. Sobers played in more magical and mystical times… but Kallis has played in more demanding times and equalled or bettered Sobers over far more matches,” said Parore.
Like the majority of wicketkeepers, Parore was extremely combative and sometimes failed to fully control his aggression, but he also had a finely tuned sense of humour.
“I saw a lot of Kallis during my career. To put it more precisely, I saw a lot of the Kallis backside from my position behind the stumps. He scored an awful lot of runs against us.”
Parore believes the reticence of his countrymen to acknowledge greatness or brilliance has meant that he has yet to receive the credit he is due - at least in South Africa: “If he’d been Australian, he’s have been hailed like the second coming. South Africans are more understated, or maybe less overstated,” Parore said.
“While it is exciting to contemplate watching a cricket legend in action again, we will - unfortunately - see way too much of Kallis. He will score a lot of runs on this tour.”