The end of the road for Pollock

Shaun Pollock has announced that he is to retire from international cricket following the completion of the series against West Indies. Pollock was recalled to the Test team for the match following a prolonged absence, but believes that the time is right to step down.

The allrounder spoke at a press conference following the second day’s play at Durban.

“I’d like to thank Cricket South Africa for allowing me the opportunity of representing my country for the last 12 years,” said Pollock. “I thoroughly enjoy the honour and privilege of wearing the Protea badge and take with me some remarkable memories having played against some great players.”

Pollock was discarded from Test cricket in January of 2007 and only earned a recall for the deciding game of the series. In the first innings of the match, Pollock took 4 wickets to lead the charge as West Indies crumbled for 139. South Africa have since taken an unassailable position in the match.

Through his celebrated career Pollock has received 108 Test caps and will finish with at least 420 wickets. In 298 one-day international appearances he has managed 387 wickets with a stunning economy rate of 3.69. His batting too has been an exceptional service to South African cricket. Pollock boasts 3781 Test runs (32.32 average) and 3476 ODI runs (26.33) with 3 international hundreds. He is likely to receive his 300th ODI cap during later this month and he would be the first South African to reach the milestone.

In April 2000 Pollock was given the captaincy following the controversial downfall of Hansie Cronje. His was the task of rebuilding a team stunned and in disarray. Following a solid start, Pollock’s South Africa lost convincingly to Australia in 2001-02, crumbling to a 3-0 Test defeat. And the following year he was removed as captain after South Africa shockingly missed out on the second round of the World Cup at home.

Graeme Smith took over as captain and Pollock has since found his place less assured. Some of his bowling skills – most notable his pace – have depreciated over the years, but Pollock has never lost his unerring accuracy and undoubted desire to serve his country.

“I realise I have been blessed by God and feel I have nurtured my talents to the best of my abilities.”

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