Jacques Kallis is the greatest cricketer, says Pat Symcox

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Published: Saturday, December 28, 2013, 19:16 [IST]
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Durban, Dec 28: Former South Africa spinner Pat Symcox has rated the retiring all-rounder Jacques Kallis as "the greatest cricketer that has ever lived".

Proteas' veteran Kallis will bid adieu to Test cricket after the ongoing match against India at Kingsmead, Durban.

Kallis is the greatest cricketer: Symcox

The right-hander has scored more than 13,000 Test runs and has taken 292 wickets and 200 catches. He is the fourth highest run scorer of all-time in Tests behind Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid.

The 38-year-old is the second highest century maker in Tests with 44 (before start of his final Test).

Speaking to "Zee News" website, Symcox, who played with Kallis at the highest level, paid rich tributes.

"Well you can only measure all sports that are measurable by time, weight whatever, distance run. Who is the fastest runner in the world? Who is the fastest swimmer in the world? That is measured by a certain measurement done by a clock," he said.

"In cricket, we use statistics to measure the person who is deemed to be the most proficient based all-rounder that's ever played and in terms of cricket statistics, Jacques Kallis is the greatest cricketer that has ever lived. In terms of batting and bowling and catches, no one has bettered that. He is, unquestionably, statistically, the best cricketer to have played the game. Now that's a heck of a statement," he added.

On Saturday, the third day of the second Test, Kallis walked out to bat and the Indian players gave him a guard of honour.

The former offspinner said if you asked another player or captain, they would agree with his statement.

"I think if you ask his peers, the players who have played against him in the last twenty years and I am not talking about poor players, I am talking about great players, that have been captains, that have understood the game, bowlers and batsmen and fielders, they'll all would agree that Jacques Kallis is the best all-rounder that has played.

"I know there have been some great players before, in India we have had Kapil Dev, in West Indies we have Garry Sobers, we have our own Mike Proctor, we have had Shaun Pollock, England have had Ian Botham, Australia have had some great players, but none of them have the record of Jacques Kallis, not one. And that would put him ahead of the pack in my opinion," he said.

Kallis is playing his 166th and final Test in Durban. He made his Test debut against England in December, 1995. Kallis will carry on playing in the shorter formats. He has so far played 325 One Day Internationals and 25 Twenty20 Internationals.


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