Retired Jacques Kallis still fresh in the memory at Netherfield Cricket Club

IT came as little surprise that South African all-rounder and former Netherfield professional Jacques Kallis bowed out of the cricketing world with a century, according to club secretary Ian Heath.

The 38-year-old – who amassed 13,289 runs from 166 matches – scored the 45th century of his Test career as South Africa defeated India by ten wickets at Durban.

Kallis was only 19 when he spent a summer at Parkside Road back in 1995, returning 791 runs at an average of 98.87 from 14 matches before making his Test debut against England later that year.

And Heath is adamant reaching three figures is a fitting way for such a quality performer, who also claimed close to 300 Test wickets, to leave the game.

“It was just typical of Jacques, he would always want to go out on top rather than a whimper and to score a century typifies the bloke,” he said.

“He just oozed class when he was at Netherfield and I remember saying at the time he would turn into a world class player and would be playing for South Africa within two years.

“He was the most outstanding pro I have come across, totally different class which was mainly down to his attitude.

“A lot of professionals come over and you hope they will coach and go into school but the majority don’t but he was totally different.

“He was a cracking lad and just concentrated on his cricket with great dedication.”

And there is one game in particular which sticks in Heath’s mind, which highlighted the talent a young Kallis possessed and would demonstrate on the world stage countless times.

“What being a professional is all about in my mind is learning to take responsibility at an early age and Jacques had that ability.

“I distinctly remember one game when Netherfield played Morecambe in a cup game one Sunday and we were without about three or four players who were with Cumberland.

“We hadn’t got a great deal of batting and were chasing 180 and the captain’s instructions to him were to open the batting and bat right through with everyone batting around him.

“And that’s exactly what he did and you can see in his stats he could do what he was asked to do as a pro and that was a great ability he showed at such a young age.”



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