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IPL desk in Mumbai 05 March 2012 - 10:44pm IST

CSA to pay tribute to KKR’s Kallis

Allrounder makes a donation to Yuvraj’s foundation

Kolkata Knight Riders’ star player Jacques Kallis will be honoured by Cricket South Africa during the New Age Cup T20 International match against India.

The Indian team will take on the Proteas in a one-off T20I at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on March 30 to celebrate the bilateral ties between the two nations. Cricket South Africa will use the occasion to pay tribute to their greatest allrounder, who has been serving the country with distinction since 17 years.

"We want to make this a Jacques Kallis evening in which we acknowledge his huge contribution to the Proteas and South African cricket generally as player, role model and mentor," CSA CEO Gerald Majola said. "He has been a wonderful ambassador throughout his career that has just entered its 17th year and is showing no sign of coming to a close.

"It is highly appropriate that we should honour him while he is still at the height of his powers. As a cricketer he is unique both in terms of statistics and the role he has filled in the Proteas' team. The only comparable all-rounder the world has seen is the great Sir Garfield Sobers and even he only batted in the top four for the first half of his career," Majola said.

Kallis, who has more than 12,000 runs and 274 wickets in Tests to his credit, has incredibly mastered the shortest format of the game as well to emerge as one of the most consistent Twenty20 players in the world.

In the first three seasons of IPL, Kallis was the backbone of the Royal Challengers Bangalore batting line-up. Snapped up by the Knight Riders’ for the 2011 edition, he topped their batting charts with 424 runs. With an aggregate of 1556 runs, the South African stalwart stands fourth on the list of highest IPL run-getters.

As part of their tribute, CSA will make a donation to the Jacques Kallis Scolarship Foundation that helps underprivileged children fulfill their cricketing dreams.

Humbled by the honour, Kallis said, "It is something I really appreciate. Cricket South Africa has given me wonderful opportunities to live the dream I have had from the moment I picked up a cricket bat for the first time.

"Playing for the Proteas has always been a huge privilege and I would also like to thank our loyal fans and sponsors who have supported me every step of the way.

"I have also been fortunate to avoid career-threatening injuries or illness and I am most grateful for that as well. I believe I still have plenty of petrol left in the tank and look forward to representing my country for some time to come," he said.

Kallis also took the opportunity to convey his wishes to India’s ailing allrounder Yuvraj Singh, who is undergoing treatment for lung cancer.

"As we all know, Yuvraj is going through a difficult time at the moment battling a serious illness and I went through a similar experience when my own father died of cancer at a relatively young age.

“I am sure the entire Proteas' squad and indeed the Cricket South Africa family joins me in wishing him a speedy recovery.”

In a mark of solidarity with his cricketing colleague, Kallis said, "I would also like to announce that I will be making a personal donation to the Yuvraj Singh Foundation.”

Yuvraj patronises a foundation that works towards general welfare in the fields of sports, education, health and environment. It also works with NGOs and organisations that are involved in the upliftment of the weaker sections of society.

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