Former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has listed erstwhile South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis among the greatest cricketers he played against.
Ambrose took 405 and 225 wickets across 98 Test matches and 176 ODIs respectively, during a prolific international career that started in April 1988 and ended a dozen years later.
He played four Tests and six ODIs against Kallis, and took his wicket only twice. The talented right-hander, meanwhile, struck four half-tons, one century and several key cameos during these 10 fixtures. January 1999’s 110 and 88 not out, in a big fourth Test victory for the Proteas at Newlands in Cape Town, was particularly telling.
‘Kallis is the best all-rounder I have ever seen. Let’s exclude Gary Sobers, because I never saw him play. I saw a lot of Kallis over the years, and he was clearly the best of many great all-rounders,’ Ambrose stated in his recently-released autobiography, Time To Talk.
‘I have him just ahead of Sir Ian Botham. This guy could easily have been a star of the South African team, even if he didn’t bowl, because he was so good as a batsman.’
The veteran Kallis’ formidable right-arm seam brought all of 577 wickets in international cricket, including seven five-wicket hauls, three achieved against the men from the Caribbean.
‘Not that I want to undermine Kallis’ talent as bowler, because he could bowl teams out and could bowl fast when he wanted to,’ added Ambrose.
We, at SA Cricket magazine, are giving away two copies of ‘Time To Talk’. To win, simply leave a statement or two about Ambrose or Kallis on our Facebook page, or in the comments section at the bottom of this article. Competition closes at noon on 22 April.