As we start a new year, we do so without the services of one of the greats of the modern game. Jacques Henry Kallis is no more. Fondly remembered, but sorely missed.
On 30 December he drew the curtain on an 18 year career that saw him rack up 13289 runs and 292 wickets in a career that spanned 163 Tests. Statistically speaking only Sir Garry Sobers comes anywhere close to Kallis’ outstanding record.
A god among mortals, Kallis walked the middle earth of Test cricket with a huge price on his scalp. Spinners, quicks, dibbly dobblers and dodgy umpires threw themselves in his path, but slowly and surely that fat log of Slazenger would wear them down into submission.
Steady, calculated and methodical, he breathed hope and inspiration into his team’s batting order in the darkest of nights. A nation of adoring cricket fans looked longingly to that 1.88m balding giant for a miracle, someone that would stand-up to the evil forces tasked with pummeling his fellow batsmen.
Modern science saved the old man by gifting him with a wavy new mop of thatch, but his new hairdo had little impact on his game, as he never faltered in his approach. On his deathbed, the world’s greatest allrounder was still at his best, scoring a ton and registering his 23rd ever Man of the Match award in the process.
I wish you well old boy, rest up and may you enjoy an ice cold Castle in Heaven’s long room with your equals Sir Garry, Sir Ian and Sir Richard.
Jacques Henry Kallis
1995 – 2013
Batsman, Bowler, Slip Fielder.
The best there ever was and ever will be.