South Africa's workhorse and one of the best all-rounders to have graced the game, has decided to call it quits from Tests after the ongoing series against India. The Boxing Day Test at Durban will be his last for South Africa. (Preview: Jacques Kallis' finale Test)
The broad shouldered, mentally strong Kallis has been one of the most crucial figures in South Africa's rise in Test cricket over the last few years. He has played alongside some of the former greats like Allan Donald, Gary Kirsten and S2haun Pollock to name a few.
With runs in excess of 13,000 and close to 300 wickets, Kallis has been one of the most influential characters in the longest format of the game, with credentials solid enough to find him a place in any world-class side. (India will lash out against South Africa, says Cheteshwar Pujara)
According to the Cricket South Africa press release, Kallis spoke about his decision and said, "It's been an honour and a privilege to have been part of the South African Test team since making my debut 18 years ago. I have enjoyed every moment out in the middle but I just feel that the time is right to hang up my Test whites.
"It wasn't an easy decision to come to, especially with Australia around the corner and the success this team is enjoying, but I feel that I have made my contribution in this format."
Kallis, who made his international debut at the age of 20 in 1995, will finish with 166 Tests to his name. Talking about South Africa's ascent in the last couple of years, Kallis said, "The last two years specifically have been a memorable journey with an exceptional group of cricketers. I am fortunate enough to have ended my Test career amongst a group of talented cricketers but more importantly, friends whom I will cherish for years to come."
Fans all over the world will be deeply saddened by the news but Kallis assured that this wasn't the end of his playing days.
"I don't see it as goodbye because I still have a lot of hunger to push South Africa to that World Cup in 2015 if I am fit and performing."
One can also not rule out the high level of hunger for success that has often been associated with the veteran as he said, "Winning an IPL title with the Kolkata Knight Riders was a special achievement, and I am still determined to taste that success with South Africa at an ICC event."
South African coach Russell Domingo shared his view on Kallis' big decision and said that the team will miss the big South African's impact and said that it will be tough to find another player of his stature.
"The impact Jacques has made on South African cricket has been immense, not just as a player but as a human being. I am not sure we will ever see another player of that stature very soon. "
Talking about Kallis' traits that will be badly missed in the dressing room, Domingo said," Jacques calmness, maturity and presence in the change room will sorely be missed and hopefully he will still be able to play a role in this team's success in the near future.
Domingo was also optimistic of seeing Kallis in prime form in coloured kit for the World Cup 2015.
"He has ambitions of playing in the 2015 World Cup and it will be important for us to manage him accordingly so that he is in prime form leading into the tournament," he said.
Kallis is currently placed fourth in the list of cricketers with most runs in Test cricket, behind Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid. The Durban Test will give him an opportunity to usurp the last two of the three names and go second behind Tendulkar. He needs 115 runs to go past Dravid and 205 to go past Ponting. Kallis also has 292 wickets and 199 catches to his name.