Cape Town - Former Proteas bowler Pat Symcox has rated South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis as "the greatest cricketer that has ever lived".
In an interview with Zee News website, Symcox reserved special praise for Kallis, who was the last of the Proteas team-mates that Symcox had played alongside during his career, to retire.
Symcox suggested that not only was Kallis the greatest all-rounder who had ever played, but that the South African was arguably the greatest cricketer ever to have played the game.
"Well, you can only measure all sports that are measurable by time,
weight whatever, distance run. Who is the fastest runner in the world?
Who is the fastest swimmer in the world? That is measured by a certain
measurement done by a clock," he said.
"In cricket, we use statistics to measure the person who is deemed to be
the most proficient all-rounder that's ever played and in terms
of cricket statistics, Jacques Kallis is the greatest cricketer that has
ever lived. In terms of batting and bowling and catches, no one has
bettered that. He is, unquestionably, statistically, the best cricketer
to have played the game. Now that's a heck of a statement," Symcox said.
The former Proteas off-spinner said he believed that other players and captains, would agree with his statement.
"I think if you ask his peers, the players who have played against him in the last twenty years and I am not talking about poor players, I am talking about great players, that have been captains, that have understood the game, bowlers and batsmen and fielders, they all would agree that Jacques Kallis is the best all-rounder that has played."
"I know there have been some great players before, in India we have had Kapil Dev, in West Indies we have Garry Sobers, we have our own Mike Proctor, we have had Shaun Pollock, England have had Ian Botham, Australia have had some great players, but none of them have the record of Jacques Kallis, not one. And that would put him ahead of the pack in my opinion," he said.