Kallis baffled by 'pick and choose' accusation

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South Africa's veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis says he doesn't expect to be handed a place at the World Cup in 2015 based on his reputation alone, and denies wanting to 'pick and choose' when he plays for the Proteas.

South Africa's veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis says he doesn't expect to be handed a place at the World Cup in 2015 based on his reputation alone, and denies wanting to 'pick and choose' when he plays for the Proteas.

Kallis recently announced that he would like to play in the ODI showcase, despite not playing a one-dayer since February 2012. But he says he wasn't demanding a place, just that he'd like to stay in the running if his form allows.

The 37-year-old told the <i>Mail and Guardian</i>: "I'm not sure where that perception comes from. I have never thought, or suggested, that I deserve some sort of automatic place in the squad, never mind the team. All I ever suggested was that I would like to remain in contention.

"It's not just about physical, it's more about mental. My body is fine, I'm training every day and enjoying it. All I'm doing is being honest with myself and with everyone else by asking the question about how much I want to play ODI cricket.

"I have no intention of staying on beyond my time or being selected on my name or reputation, so I needed to be certain about my motivation. When I asked myself whether I wanted to play every series between now and the World Cup, the answer was no.

"It's a long, hard day and I've had 321 of them. But would I like to place myself in contention for selection a year out from the World Cup? Absolutely."

When asked about the idea that his refusal to retire was unfair to the new players, who could lose their place to him, he said: "I can understand that up to a point.

"If a player was doing well and was moved out of the team just before the World Cup that would be unfair and I wouldn't be a part of something like that. I'm saying I would like to be available for selection.

"If players perform better than me during that time then I don't expect any favours."

The all-rounder was also asked about playing in the IPL for Kolkata, rather than at the Champions Trophy for South Africa, and he said that wasn't motivated by money but by form. He did not feel up to par to play for the Proteas.

He said: "I was damned either way. If I went to the Champions Trophy and was stale and struggling for form, what would people have said? When I chose to be honest and said I wasn't in the right frame of mind to represent my country, I was shot down.

"Representing your country is the highest honour there is, it's that simple. Not the most lucrative, but easily the most important. I would never mess around with that.

"I wasn't able to give my best at the Champions Trophy, so I didn't go. Same will apply with the 2015 World Cup."

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