Kallis hailed as one of SA's greats

"Jacques Kallis will go down as one of the greatest all-round cricketers in the history of the game."

Haroon Lorgat says Jacques Kallis should be praised for his years of service to the Proteas. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat says Jacques Kallis should be praised for his years of service to the Proteas.

The veteran announced his retirement from One Day International (ODI) cricket on Wednesday, signaling the end of his international career after he hung up his boots from test cricket in December last year.

His career spanned almost two decades.

He'll be remembered for his extraordinary all rounder skills.

Lorgat says the way Kallis has dealt with his retirement is commendable.

"He was certainly very keen to get through to the World Cup and eventually it dawned upon him that it's not his mind that's not fit enough to be there, he's a 39-year-old who's done enormous amounts of miles on a cricket field."

Lorgat said South Africa has been blessed with one of the world's greatest cricketing talents in Kallis.

"He is undeniably one of the greatest players ever to have graced our wonderful game and he has certainly been the Proteas standard bearer of excellence for nearly two decades.

After making his debut against England in Cape Town in 1996, Kallis went on to play 328 matches for his country, scoring more than 11,500 runs, taking 279 wickets in the process.

He represented South Africa in five World Cups, dating back to the 1996 tournament in Sri Lanka and India.

Having last played an ODI in July, he has struggled with form against Sri Lanka, scoring just five runs on three matches.

ICC PAYS TRIBUTE

The International Cricket Coucil (ICC)'s Chief Executive Officer David Richardson has thanked Kallis for his contribution to the sport.

Richardson said Kallis will be remembered for a long time for his consistency with both bat and ball in all formats of the game.

"Jacques Kallis will go down as one of the greatest all-round cricketers in the history of the game. Since making his international debut at the age of 20, he has been a mainstay of the South African line-up in all forms of the game.

Richardson said for Kallis to have maintained such a high level of form and fitness in international cricket, is an incredible feat and should be an inspiration for younger generation of cricketers aspiring to be bracketed in the league of legends of the sport.

"Jacques played the game in a highly competitive manner and he can look back on his career with great pride. We wish Jacques and his family well with the next exciting phase of their lives."