National Honour for Wynberg Old Boy Jacques Kallis

Wynberg Old Boy, Jacques Kallis: the ‘Jacques Kallis Oval’ naming ceremony, 2009. Photo courtesy Mike Lumb

Tuesday 2 April 2019: Wynberg Boys’ High & Junior Schools take great pleasure in the news that Old Boy and cricketing legend Jacques Kallis will be awarded the Order of Ikhamanga by the President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, at an investiture on Thursday 25 April 2019.

The Order of Ikhamanga is awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. It is one of the highest Orders which can be awarded to a citizen by the President of South Africa. The Ikhamanga, more commonly known in English as the Strelitzia (or Bird of Paradise flower),reflects beauty – just as top sportsmen reflect their unique sporting beauty.

Some well known South African sporting names who have received this award (since its inception in 2003) are Gary Player (golf – gold), John Smit (rugby), Wayde van Niekerk (athletics – gold), Neil Tovey (soccer), Natalie du Toit (swimming – gold), Bryan Habana (rugby).

The only cricketers up to now who have received the award have been Mkhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Basil D’Oliveira.

Now we can add Wynberg’s Jacques Kallis to this list as he has just been announced as a recipient of the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver Class).

His cricketing achievements are well known. Discussions are still ongoing regarding the best allrounder ever in cricketing history – Jacques Kallis of South Africa or Garry Sobers of the West Indies? Wynberg boys think it is not a debate as does Wikipedia who describes Jacques as ‘one of the greatest cricketers of all time’. He is still the only cricketer to have scored more than 10 000 test and ODI runs as well as taking 250 wickets in both forms of the game.

Jacques left Wynberg in 1993 as Captain of the 1st X1, vice captain of WP u18 (Nuffield) side, and an SA Schools player. He earned three Century Trees at the Oval which nows bears his name. Little did we know then that he would be selected for the national side two years later in 1995 and retire from test cricket, after seventeen years and 166 tests, in 2013 with 45 test centuries to his credit.

The cricketing world has not been slow to honour him:

* ICC Player of the Year: 2005

* ICC Test Player of the Year:  2007

* Wisden Leading Cricketer of the Year:  2008

* SA Cricketer of the Year: 2004 / 2011

* Wisden Cricketer of the Year in his retirement year: 2013

Some interesting personal records:

* Most number of runs in SA Test Cricket: 13,289 (3rd on the all time list)

* 292 test wickets (5th on SA bowling list)

* Most number of Man of the Match awards in Test cricket:  23 (Muttiah Muralitharan second on 19)

And for those who thought he was not an exciting player:

* Second for most sixes in test matches: 97  (Gilchrist 107)

* SA record for the highest (debut) partnership in T20 cricket:  84 (with Graham Smith)

In 2005, WP awarded Jacques a benefit year. He opted to give all the money raised to a Scholarship in his name enabling promising cricketers to attend four prominent cricketing schools around the country – of which Wynberg was one. The criteria were that in the normal course of events, these boys would not have been able to attend a school like Wynberg. Since then over 100 young cricketers have had the opportunity of attending these schools. One of these scholars is 21 year old Kyle Verreynne of the Cobras who is currently well on course to represent his country at the highest level.

Wynberg remembers Jacques Kallis with pride.  Not only is his name immortalised at his old school in the Jacques Kallis Oval but also in the two Wills ‘Man of the Match’ trophies which he was awarded in his first World Cup in 1996 in India. He donated these two impressive trophies to the School and these are now presented annually by both High and Junior Schools to their respective ‘Cricketers of the Year’.

It is only right that the South African Government now sees fit to honour one of the country’s most famous cricketing sons.

Wynberg salutes Jacques Kallis. A well-deserved award.

A #WynbergMedia report with grateful thanks to former WBHS Headmaster, Mr Keith Richardson

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