Jacques Kallis will not play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL from next season, but will stay with the franchise as a mentor and batting consultant.
Jacques Kallis was first bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011 for $1.1 million, and then this February, when all the players were put back up for auction, the franchise bought him through the right to match card option for Rs 5.5 crore ($916,000). The South African legend fetched a hefty price-tag, but he proved to be worth the money. He was their best batsman in 2011 and then in the top three in the following two seasons. Kallis was also instrumental in the team winning their maiden title in 2012.
In the 2014 IPL, however, Kallis’ age caught up with him and his level of performance took a serious dip. As a result, he was selected to play in only half of the Knight Riders matches. He had already retired from Test cricket in December 2013 and then announced in July this year that he was quitting from all forms of international cricket to focus on Twenty20.
The Knight Riders have recognised that the 39-year-old’s best day’s are behind him and that his strengths can now be utilised in a better way. It’s a decision that has been well received by both parties.
‘KKR has been my Indian family for the last four years,’ Kallis said in a media release, issued by the franchise.
‘I have built fantastic relationships with the management and the players and have been very fortunate to assist KKR in winning two IPL Championships. Over the past year I have had a chance to think about my future and when KKR approached me with this long-term offer, I jumped at it.
‘KKR is a great brand and I am really looking forward to assisting them in my new role as mentor and batting consultant,’ concluded the South African.
The management at KKR are just as happy about the deal, that will see Kallis continue to contribute to the franchises success. According to Venky Mysore, the franchise would continue to ‘benefit’ from the long-term association with Kallis.
‘Jacques’ commitment to KKR has been brilliant and his contribution both on the field and in the dressing room has been superb. We are delighted to continue the association.’
Although his great career is winding down, Kallis still has a few tournaments to look forward to as a player. He will feature in the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder and has committed to play in the Caribbean Premier League in 2015.