Shaun Maclean Pollock (born July 16, 1973 in Port Elizabeth) is a retired South African cricketer who is considered a bowling all-rounder. From 2000 to 2003 he was the captain of the South African cricket team, and also played for Africa XI, World XI, Dolphins and Warwickshire. He was also chosen as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2003. Having both taken over 400 test wickets and scored over 3,700 test runs in his 107 test matches as of 2007, On January 11 2008 he announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket after his 303rd One Day International on February 3.
Shaun Pollock was a medium-fast seam bowler, with the ability to deliver a quicker ball with accuracy and swing. He is considered to be one of the straightest bowlers in world cricket.
The nephew of legendary South African cricketer Graeme Pollock and the son of former South African fast bowler Peter Pollock, expectations from him were high since he started playing for South Africa in 1995/96, in their home series against England. He cemented his place in the team with some excellent performances and found a steady bowling partner in Allan Donald. They were to be the mainstay of South African bowling till Donald's retirement.
Pollock was also a very useful hard-hitting batsman who normally bats at 7 or 8, with a Test average of over 30 and ODI average above 25. He is also an athletic fielder. After Hansie Cronje was banned from cricket for life, Pollock took over the captaincy in April 2000. He had the task of boosting the morale of the team in the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal. After getting off to a good start as a captain he faced some disappointing series losses in his tenure. He was eventually removed from the captaincy after South Africa's poor performance in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, a tournament that they were amongst the favourites to win as the host nation. Current captain Graeme Smith took over the job.
Although no longer captain, he retained his place in the team. Of late, especially after a disappointing Test series tour of Australia in 2005/2006, he has been facing criticism for losing his wicket taking ability. He has the lowest (best) economy rate of any bowler to have taken 300 ODI wickets, and he is also the first South African and only the tenth player to take 400 Test wickets. However, minor injuries have hampered his most recent performances, and in September 2007 he was dropped from the South African test side for the first time in his career. Pollock was later readded to the test series against the West Indies, whereupon he announced his retirement, effective on February 3 2008. He stated that "I realise I have been blessed by God and feel I have nurtured my talents to the best of my abilities." After South Africa sealed a series victory against the West Indies, Graeme Smith paid tribute to Pollock, stating "It's very important that people celebrate what he's given to South African cricket and what he's achieved as an individual. Shaun Pollock recently represented Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, and Durham Dynamos in the 2008 Twenty20 Cup in England.
Shaun Pollock is currently commentating on Sky Sports and Test Match Special on the BBC during the 2008 England vs South Africa Test Series.
He is currently tenth on the all time Test Wicket takers list, and was named joint 10th in the all time best ever bowler ratings in the LG ICC Ratings. He has taken over 400 wickets and is one of only six players to have scored 3000 runs and taken 300 wickets in Test matches.
He has also performed impressively in One Day International, consistently from 1997 to 2001. The year 2002 saw a little performance dip after which he performed excellently up until 2005 after which there was a second dip. Many said that Pollock would not recover from this but he did, in fact he reached his career-best LG ICC Bowling Rating of 920 in February 2006 and it despite slight variation it remains at 920. He now holds the 3rd highest rating ever, 3 points behind the New Zealand bowler Richard Hadlee.
In June 2007 he represented an Africa XI in an ODI game against an Asia XI in Bangalore. Playing as a specialist batsman, Pollock scored 130 from number 7 in the batting order, the highest ever score by an ODI batsman in that position. The record would however not last long, MS Dhoni bettered it later in the series.
In Summer 2008 he played for Durham County Cricket Club in the North East of England along with fellow South African Albie Morkel used mainly in the Twenty20 Cup competition
|Shaun Pollock at the Cricket World Cup|
|Shaun Pollock's career achievements|
Cricket: Rose Bowl Retains Dignity for Cronje's Friends; Bob Woolmer and Shaun Pollock Found the Beauty of an English Field No Solace after the Death of a Loved Colleague, Writes Brian Halford
Jun 03, 2002; Byline: Bob Woolmer and Shaun Pollock Adelightful summer Saturday afternoon on the South Coast. Sunshine caressed the spectators...