Kallis eyes a last shot at ODI World Cup

Johannesburg, Aug 21 (PTI): Senior all-rounder Jacques Kallis has decided to end his six-month long sabbatical from ODIs and is ready to return to the South African squad for a last shot at the 50-over World Cup to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

Kallis yesterday reiterated his intention to extend his ODI career and to be a part of the Proteas team in their quest to win the next edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

"Playing for my country has always been both a huge honour and a privilege," Kallis said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA).

"It remains my aspiration to be available for the 2015 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup but, at the same time, I know as an all-rounder approaching my 38th birthday, I will need to assess my future in the game season by season.

"At the moment I am feeling mentally and physically refreshed and I am looking forward to carry on playing for my country as long as possible," he said.

Kallis, who will be 38 in October, played his last ODI against New Zealand in February 2012. He, therafeter, opted to focus his career on Test matches and Indian Premier League.

This means Kallis will be back for selection in the home series against India in November.

Welcoming Kallis's return to the side, CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said: "Jacques is an extraordinary player who appreciates the ODI team building process that is currently under way."  

Lorgat added that CSA would do everything possible to help Kallis achieve his personal ambitions while building a new generation ODI team.

South Africa's head coach Russell Domingo, who last week said he would be calling on Kallis to make a firm decision on whether he wanted to be in the Proteas squad or not, said: "We are scheduled to play 30 ODIs between now and the start of the World Cup and we cannot expect Jacques to play every match.

"If we were to do that we would limit his longevity and we don't want that. The plan is to bring him back into the ODI squad for the home series against India in November.

"At the moment we have a youthful ODI batting line-up and Jacques brings a maturity that will be invaluable in developing the new generation."


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