DURBAN, South Africa (AP):
Jacques Kallis will retire from Test cricket after this week's second match against India, ending the career of one of the game's greatest all-rounders and South Africa's most significant player of the modern era - and possibly ever.
Kallis is the fourth-highest runscorer in Test cricket, and his total of 44 centuries in 165 matches is second only to Sachin Tendulkar's 51. And that only tells half the story.
He has also taken 292 Test wickets as a menacing and skilful seam bowler in his 18-year career, an astoundingly good return for a world-class batsman who so often still had to balance his responsibilities between bat and ball.
Kallis will remain available for one-day internationals, he said in his announcement on Wednesday, and repeated his desire to play at the 2015 World Cup as his final swansong.
"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," Kallis said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa on the eve of the final Test against India in Durban. "I have enjoyed every moment out in the middle, but I just feel that the time is right to hang up my test whites."
The 38-year-old Kallis quit before the home series against Australia in February, and a chance to end his career after one more match at his beloved Newlands home ground in Cape Town. That series had been tipped to be his last, but he surprised many by his sudden announcement on Christmas Day.
"It wasn't an easy decision to come to," he said, "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."
And his contribution was outstanding, whether batting, bowling or fielding.
Kallis' total of 13,174 Test runs is behind only Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid on the all-time Test list, and he could overtake Dravid with a good Test in Durban. At 55.12, his batting average is better than Tendulkar's, or anyone else in the top-nine Test run-getters.