Cape Town: Veteran South African allrounder Jacques Kallis has reiterated his future as an ODI cricketer while pledging his allegiance to his team in one final bid to win an ICC World Cup. Kallis, who will turn 38 on October 16, has not played an ODI since February 2012 and made himself unavailable for the Champions Trophy this summer, but his statements on Tuesday were welcomed by the team management with an eye on 2015, with Kallis' return to 50-over cricket set for November when India tour.
"Playing for my country has always been both a huge honour and a privilege," Kallis told reporters. "It remains my aspiration to be available for the 2015 edition of the 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."
Kallis' comments were met by words of support from South Africa's coach Russell Domingo and CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat. "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," said Domingo. "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."
Added Lorgat: "Jacques is an extraordinary player who appreciates the ODI team building process that is currently under way. His availability is welcomed and CSA will do everything possible to help him achieve his personal ambitions while building a new generation ODI team."