Friday, 23 August 2013

Should Jacques Kallis retire now?

It seems that in recent talk from Jacques Kallis, CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat and Proteas coach Russell Domingo that while they would all like Kallis's experience in the 2015 World Cup, form will be a factor. Thus they say they will monitor his performance "season by season". 

Read the story here  

Jacques Kallis acknowledges the applause as he walks back, South Africa v India, Only T20I, Johannesburg, March 30, 2012
Jacques Kallis (37) has made 11,498 runs in 321 ODIs for the Proteas. Image taken from

My Opinion

Kallis's performances for South African cricket cannot be described in words. When he is not playing, his presence is sorely missed and in theory it would be great having him play for SA in the 2015 WC to be held in Australia and New Zealand. However, do we know he will still be great, or worth his place, then? His choosing to not play in a few ODI series the last couple of seasons has probably been good for prolonging his career but has this been what's best for the team? It is hard to say. Certainly a better and refreshed Kallis is good now, but then we were weaker in the games without him.

I think that I tend to over-analyse situations, but here I go. Kallis wants to prolong his career so he can play in 2015. But we don't know if he will still be good then. Domingo has said that no one is guaranteed a place in the WC, it all depends on fitness and form. Domingo has also said that Kallis must play enough ODI cricket if he wants to play in the WC. This sounds wise to me.

Although, if Cricket South Africa think that Kallis will still be good enough to play in the WC in 2015, even if he has to miss half of the series before then, I would say let it be. Kallis is a great after all, likely SA's best ever cricketer.

But if Kallis is perceived to be getting worse and less fit to be able to play, of which there is no shame as it happens to everyone over time, CSA should make the hard decision and put in place a succession plan for him before 2015. I am not saying that Kallis must retire today, but if CSA thinks he will not be able to compete effectively at 2015, they must start looking for a replacement(s) in the ODIs from this season. In test matches a Kallis replacement should be a batsman and in the ODIs, with Duminy back, we probably would also only need to swap him with a batsman.

Kallis says,  "It remains my aspiration to be available for the 2015 World Cup but, at the same time I know as an allrounder approaching my 38th birthday, I will need to assess my future in the game season by season." 

I think CSA need to monitor Kallis closely in this upcoming cricket season (and by the way let's hope that this scrutinising does not add detrimental pressure to Kallis), and make a decision that will be best for the team.

Cricket legends are given too much agency about when they* would like to retire. This can sometimes hurt them as well as the teams they are in. Your thoughts?

Kallis's cricket averages (Taken from on 23 August 2013) 
Batting and fielding averages
List A4173996514764155*44.20231081560
Bowling averages
List A41713559106503485/305/3030.604.7138.9330