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SA great Jacques Kallis enjoying time in ‘arch-enemy’ England camp

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South Africa great Jacques Kallis said he’d come to enjoy working with England in Sri Lanka even though it had initially felt odd to be assisting the “arch-enemy” a year on from coaching against them with his native Proteas.

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Outstanding all-rounder Kallis, the third highest run-scorer in Test history, has been retained by England as a batting consultant for their two-match series in Sri Lanka starting Thursday.

‘LITTLE BIT STRANGE AS ENGLAND WERE THE ENEMY’ – KALLIS

“I suppose in the beginning it was a little bit strange because England were the arch-enemy when we played them but I suppose in the world we’re living now guys go and coach other teams and in the T20s around the world guys go and play with other teams,” Kallis said in a conference call from Galle.

“It’s a good bunch of boys with a lot of youngsters who have bright futures ahead of them, so it’s nice I can perhaps help them achieve the goals and dreams they want to achieve.”

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Amid coronavirus restrictions the 45-year-old Jacques Kallis, renowned for his concentration and technique at the crease, was clear about the kind of advice he wanted to give England’s top order. 

“I think it’s one of the shortest lead-ups to a Test series England have ever had and I have to be careful not to tinker with guys’ techniques too much,” he said. 

“It’s more about the mental side of things and making sure they’ve got good game plans and how they’re going to go about it and that sort of stuff and minor technical stuff.”  

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A year ago Kallis was advising South Africa during their home series loss to England.

But the policy of racial transformation, designed to ensure the team is representative of the whole country after only white cricketers were allowed to represent South Africa during the apartheid era, is now being applied to backroom staff as well.

Acting Cricket South Africa chief executive Kugandrie Covender, since suspended on misconduct charges, explained the policy in September by telling ESPNCricinfo: “We need to ask: ‘Could you have employed a black person in this position?’ We are not saying we don’t want any white people.”

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Kallis, while expressing sadness at the way his time working with South Africa had ended, said he understood the broader context.

JACQUES KALLIS: SAD THAT I CAN’T HELP OUT IN SA

“We’ve lost a few players – whatever the reasons – overseas,” Kallis said.

“It’s the times we’re in. There are many other coaches who have gone on to coach other teams – Gary Kirsten, for example. It’s the modern way of the world. 

“It’s sad in a way that I can’t help out in South Africa but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here in the England set-up.”

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Kallis scored 13 289 runs at an average of over 55 in 166 Tests and took 292 wickets with his pace bowling during a 19-year international career.

ONLY TENDULKAR AND PONTING HAVE MORE TEST RUNS

Only India’s Sachin Tendulkar and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting have scored more Test runs.

Yet there remains a sense that the achievements of Kallis have been undervalued when compared to more flamboyant all-rounders such as West Indies’ Garfield Sobers, Pakistan’s Imran Khan and England’s Ian Botham.

“They were a lot more aggressive and had different roles to play within the side and I probably fell into the more conservative side given the team and the place I was batting in,” said Kallis.

“I never played the game for accolades or records. I played because I loved it and I wanted to win games of cricket.

“I was a terrible loser, I hated losing, so that pretty much drove me and it certainly does drive me now I’ve finished the game in the other avenue of coaching.”

IN CLOSING | AUSTRALIA’S LONG HISTORY WITH RACISM IN SPORT

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Cricket latest | Rajasthan Royals cut Steve Smith, Lasith Malinga quits IPL

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Indian Premier League (IPL) big spenders Rajasthan Royals said on Wednesday they will not be keeping Australian star batsman Steve Smith for this year’s contest while the league’s highest wicket taker Lasith Malinga has retired from all T20 contests.

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The Royals decision is a second blow this week for Smith after being in the Australian side beaten by India in a Test series.

The Royals have however kept England stars Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer in their team which Smith had captained this year when they came bottom of the eight team league.

“Steve Smith has been a great player and great leader for the Royals, and we want to thank him for his contribution to the franchise,” said Royals owner Manoj Badale. 

Sanju Samson will be the new captain.

The star batsman played 14 matches in the 2020 IPL, which was played behind closed doors in the United Arab Emirates because of the coronavirus pandemic, scoring 311 runs.

Smith contributed a century and two fifties for Australia in the Test series won by India 2-1 and would still be a top draw in the IPL auction due to be held next month.

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Sri Lankan fast bowler Malinga, 37, has been with the Mumbai Indians for 12 seasons, taking 170 wickets, though he pulled out of the 2020 competition which the side won for their fifth title.

“After discussing with family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket,” Malinga said.

“The pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now.”

The Indians have also released pace trio Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson from Australia and New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenaghan.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Marcus Stoinis will stay on for his franchise Delhi Capitals along with South African quick Kagiso Rabada. But the side have released England batsman Jason Roy.

Punjab King’s XI, among the poor performers in 2020, have released Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell. Punjab said however that they will be keeping 41-year-old West Indies big hitter Chris Gayle who will be looking to add to his record 13 500 runs in T20 cricket.

The IPL – the world’s wealthiest cricket tournament which attracts top stars from around the globe – is expected to start in April.

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Heinrich Klaasen to skipper youthful Proteas side in Pakistan T20 series

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Heinrich Klaasen will captain the Proteas’ T20 squad in their three-match series against Pakistan in Lahore from 11-14 February 2021. 

He will lead the national team for the first time. 

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The strategy forms part of the measures put in place by CSA to ensure that the Test squad, captained by Quinton de Kock, can return to South Africa and satisfy the overseas travel Covid-19 quarantine protocol ahead of that team’s three-Test series against Australia.

CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has compelled sporting bodies to find innovative ways of ensuring tours and sporting events take place as planned or with as little disruption to revised plans as possible. We are not exempt from that, and have had to do a bit of outside-of-the-box thinking to ensure that we are fully prepared for a home Test tour against Australia, while having an exciting T20 series to compete in, in Pakistan.

“We’re in the final stages of concluding plans for how the coaching and support staff will also be managed for the two tours. We will share those details when they have been finalised.

“It’s an example of the measures that some cricket nations will have to put in place to ensure that they can squeeze more than one tour in a period of three or four months, while fulfilling Covid-19 protocol obligations.

“The circumstances we find ourselves in allow the National Selection Panel to cast a wide net and give some of the young and exciting talent that has been in their sights the opportunity of a lifetime in a T20 World Cup year.”

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The T20 squad boasts several new faces as the Proteas continue to rebuild after the losses of numerous players to retirement in recent times.

There does not seem to be a better time for the National Selection Panel to look at new options than now, with the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup taking place in India this September.

PRETORIUS AND SHAMZI WILL SUPPORT HEINRICH KLAASEN

Okuhle Cele, Ryan Rickleton and Jacques Snyman receive their maiden national team call-ups, while Glenton Stuurman will return to the national team after a left quadriceps muscle strain saw him released from the Test squad ahead of the start of the second match against Sri Lanka and Johannesburg.

Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla and George Linde from the Test squad have also been included for the T20 fixtures.

They, along with Andile Phehlukwayo, Reeza Hendricks and Jon-Jon Smuts, will offer the required experience that the predominantly youthful squad will require to excel in the Lahore.

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CSA Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang said: “A lot will be said about the inexperience of this team, but the Selection Panel and I believe we have a special group of players in this team that will do us proud in Pakistan. It’s a big year for T20 international cricket, with the World Cup coming up and this is the ideal opportunity for youngsters to put their hands up and grab opportunities, however they may come.

“We are excited to see what these youngsters will do under what won’t be the easiest of conditions, but more than that, we as a Panel, are looking forward to seeing the more experienced players step up as leaders and take ownership of the team.

“We fully support Heinrich Klaasen with the captaincy role. He is not new to leading a team and has done so throughout his career. We know he is more than up for the challenge and will represent South Africa well in Pakistan.

“On behalf of the National Selectors Panel, I would like to wish him and the team all of the best for what will truly be an exciting and highly anticipated series.”

Travel details for the T20 squad will be released in due course.

Proteas T20 squad to tour Pakistan:

Heinrich Klaasen (captain), Nandre Burger, Okuhle Cele, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, George Linde, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Ryan Rickleton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Pite van Biljon, Glenton Stuurman, Jacques Snyman

Pakistan T20 series v South Africa itinerary:

Thursday, 11 February – 1st T20I, Lahore

Saturday, 13 February – 2nd T20I, Lahore

Sunday, 14 February – 3rd T20I, Lahore

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