I never played the game for records: Jacques Kallis

May 09, 2013, 00:06 IST | Urmimala Banerjee

The South African all-rounder opens up about his career, playing in India and life off the field

“She never told me that. I don’t know from where you heard it,” a surprised Jacques Kallis told a journalist at a press meet when he asked him whether his girlfriend Shamone plans to have an Indian wedding. The South African all-rounder was in a chatty mood and we found out that he’s not as undemonstrative as he’s made out to be. “I never thought of myself as sexy. Back home in South Africa, cricketers are not as ‘sexy’ as they are in India,” he told CS as he chatted about his career, playing in India and life off the field:

Jacques Kallis
Who: Jacques Kallis
What: On life on and off the field 
Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

Incredible India!
People in India are extremely passionate about the sport and I love playing in front of the huge crowds. Kolkata has become like a second home for me. The cricket fans there love us, even though some of us are foreigners. Last year, it felt great celebrating the win with them. As a cricketer, I don’t get much time to get out and go sightseeing, but I love trying out different cuisines and interacting with people from different parts. India is a diverse country and I love the variety it offers.

Stats don’t lie
I can’t tell you any of my statistics. I never played the game for records (Jacques is the only cricketer to have more than 11,000 plus runs and 250 wickets to his name in both Tests and ODIs). My only objective has been to deliver to the best of my ability for my team. I have only looked at my role. As far as the comparison with Sir Garfield Sobers is concerned, I don’t think it’s right to compare players from two different eras because they never played the amount of cricket as us. But it is an honour to be considered in the same class as Sir Gary Sobers.

Staying motivated
At 37, I still enjoy the challenges the game of cricket offers. The morning I wake up and feel that cricket doesn’t excite me anymore, I will hang my boots. I am lucky that my body has coped up well with the rigours of modern cricket. Being an all-rounder is never easy. Of course, I have had to work really hard on my fitness. My dream is to be a part of a World Cup winning South African squad and that’s one of the reasons I want to be in full shape till 2015. That will be the perfect cherry on the top.

That’s my style
I am not a style conscious person. Looking good has never been important for me. I am terrible at shopping and hate it. But still, if women like me, then it’s fantastic (smiles). Golf is my passion and I love watching sports. Let me tell you that I don’t watch a single ball of cricket when I am not playing. That’s how I take my mind off the game. 

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