Jacques Kallis 'sad' to be surplus to SA requirements as England coaching stint begins

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Former great lends expertise to England batsmen in Sri Lanka, and is open to further work

Jacques Kallis has admitted he is “sad” to be unable to use his experience to help the next generation of South African cricketers, but is enjoying his time working with England instead.

Kallis, arguably the greatest cricketer South Africa have produced, found himself surplus to requirements in their coaching set-up after Cricket South Africa (CSA) started to apply an affirmative action policy to the recruitment of consultants.

While this policy is not set in stone, it does encourage more usage of non-white coaches. And with South Africa already having a white director of cricket (Graeme Smith), head coach (Mark Boucher) and high performance batting coach (Neil McKenzie), Kallis has not been utilised by them since the end of England’s tour of the country at the start of 2020.

Despite “a few” South Africa players expressing a desire to work with him in recent weeks, Kallis says he “wasn’t allowed” to help them. As a result, he has accepted a short-term role as batting consultant with England. And while there are currently no plans to extend that role beyond the current tour of Sri Lanka, both sides are open to discussing it further in the coming weeks.

“It’s sad in a way that I can’t help out in South Africa,” Kallis said from Galle, “but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here and my time in the England set-up. I’m certainly going to give them as much of my knowledge and time as I can to move them forward.

“I wasn’t allowed to be involved with that South African side because Cricket South Africa said there would be no more white consultants. So unfortunately that fell away and this opportunity of helping England out came about and I took it with both hands.

“So no I haven’t been able to be involved with the SA guys over the last couple of months. There were a few [quite keen to do so], but unfortunately there was that rule so it was pretty much taken out of my hands.

“I suppose it’s the way of our country: a lot of players have fallen away because of needing players of colour involved. It’s tough but we understand where it comes from. It is sad, but it’s the times we are living in at the moment.”

It has appeared, in recent days, that CSA have softened their stance on the affirmative action to ensure they have more coaching talent available. But if that is the case, nobody appears to have told Kallis.



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