Kallis sings national anthem in heart: Majola

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg:Seeking to put an end to the controversy surrounding Jacques Kallis' refusal to sing the South African national anthem, CSA CEO Gerald Majola today said the Proteas vice-captain likes to 'sing the anthem in his heart' in quiet remembrance of his late parents.

''Jacques told me that he sings the anthem in his heart in a quiet moment in remembrance of his parents and in gratitude for what they did to allow him to be good enough to represent his country,'' Majola said in a statement here.

''He has great respect for the anthem and cherishes every moment he has represented South Africa around the world,'' he added as he called for an end to the controversy which has led to rumours of a rift within the South African team on racial grounds.

Majola met Kallis and discussed the issue with him after the reasons for the all-rounder's refusal to sing the national anthem became a subject of speculation in the media. The Cricket South Africa chief said he was satisfied with Kallis' explanation and wants the matter to end now.

''Jacques has explained why he is silent during the singing of the anthem before international matches and his explanation is completely acceptable to Cricket South Africa,'' Majola said.

''Jacques recently lost both his parents, and he was particularly close to his father who was his cricket mentor. They would often sing the anthem together, and his father was very proud of his son playing for South Africa,'' he added, elaborating on the matter.

Majola said nobody could question the integrity of Kallis, who has given a lot to South African cricket, and the all-rounder would be the last to disrespect the national anthem.

''All the Proteas players understand the importance of the anthem, and they each pay tribute in their own way during the playing of the national anthem at international matches,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Kallis himself sought an end to the furore and said he did not need to prove his commitment to the nation to anybody.

''The questioning of my patriotism and commitment to South Africa can easily be answered by visiting my website www.kallis.co.za and seeing the Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation I have set up and this will clearly illustrate my passion and willingness to redress the imbalances of the past,'' the all-rounder said in a statement.

''I hope my personal and family wishes would be respected and this matter would be settled,'' he added.


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