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Champion all-rounder Kallis retires

By AAP .
26 December 2013 01:04PM EST

SOUTH African cricketing great Jacques Kallis won't face Australia in a three-Test series early next year after announcing his retirement from the five-day format.

Kallis on Wednesday said the upcoming Test against India, which gets underway in Durban on Thursday, will be his last as he also retired from first-class cricket.

However, the 38-year-old - described by Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat as the Test team's 'Rock of Gibraltar' - is determined to play for the one-day team at the 2015 World Cup.

"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," the star all-rounder said.

"I have enjoyed every moment out in the middle but I just feel that the time is right to hang up my Test whites," he said in a statement issued by CSA.

"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."

Having started playing internationally aged 20, Kallis ends his career the highest-placed active player. He scored 13,174 runs and took 292 wickets in 165 Test matches for the Proteas.

"The last two years specifically have been a memorable journey with an exceptional group of cricketers," he said.

"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."

Captain Graeme Smith praised the veteran's achievements, but expressed sadness at his retirement.

"It's been an emotional few days knowing JK (Jacques Kallis) retiring," Smith posted on Twitter.

"All I can say what a privilege to have played with the great man! Hopefully we can give him the send off he deserves over the next 5 days! Gonna miss him immensely."

Kallis will hope to bow out with a victory in his final Test, and a series win, after the first Test ended in a thrilling draw last Sunday.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo said they would do their best to get Kallis to the World Cup and added he would leave a huge vacuum in the test team dressing room.

"The impact Jacques has made on South African cricket has been immense, not just as a player but as a human being," said Domingo in a statement posted on the CSA website.

"I'm not sure we will ever see another player of that stature very soon."

Lorgat too paid him a handsome tribute.

"Jacques Kallis has simply been the Protea's Rock of Gibraltar," he said.

"He is a legend and his statistics speak volumes. For the number of Test centuries scored, he is second only to Sachin Tendulkar and he is statistically the greatest all-rounder of all time."

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