15 Facts about Shaun Pollock: The benevolent all-rounder

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Shaun Pollock
Everyone fears a fast bowler and the impact he can have: Shaun Pollock. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Shaun Pollock is undoubtedly one of the greatest all-rounders to have ever played the game. Pollock always believe in constant improvement of skills and tried to contribute for his team every possible way. An accurate line and length bowler coupled with more than useful batting ability made him an invaluable part of the South African team.

He was never fiercely quick but still commanded the same respect which a batsman would give to an out and out fast bowler. His career spanning 13 years saw him achieve and break many milestones, establishing himself into the hearts of cricket fans as one the most loved cricketers.

1.Born on:

Shaun Maclean Pollock was on July 16, 1973, in the city of Port Elizabeth, Cape Province


Pollock is a graduate of the University of Natal with a bachelor’s degree in commerce.

3. Cricket in the genes:

Pollock belongs of a family of cricketing stalwarts. Shaun Pollock’s father Peter Pollock and uncle Graeme Pollock are counted among the most influential South African cricketers . His grandfather Andrew Pollock, father of Graeme and Peter, was a wicket-keeper for Orange Free State; Andrew’s brother-in-law Robert Howden played for Natal; Graeme’s sons Andrew and Anthony both played for Transvaal, and Graeme and Peter’s cousins Ranevor and Christopher also played for Natal.

4. First to play English county:

Shaun was the first in the family to play for an English county (he played for Warwickshire and Durham). Graeme and Peter never played as their career overlapped with the apartheid era.

5. Not a ‘Canine’:

Father Peter and uncle Graeme were famously known as ‘The Big Dog’ and ‘The Little Dog’ respectively. But, Shaun did not have a canine nickname and earned the name Polly.

6. A teetotaler:

Pollock is a devout Christian and a staunch teetotaler (non-drinker).

7. Four wickets in four balls mark the arrival:

In his first appearance for Warwickshire — a Benson & Hedges tie against Leicestershire at Edgbaston — Pollock became only the second bowler (after Alan Ward) to take four wickets in four ball in a List A match when he removed Greg Macmillan, James Whitaker, Phil Robinson, and Darren Maddy off consecutive balls: as Pollock left the ground, he saw Allan Donald — his senior new-ball partner for South Africa — waiting for him with the Warwickshire county cap.

8. Hugs Aleem Dar in joy!:

During close games, bowlers’ joy sees no limit when they snare a wicket at a tense situation while defending totals. On one such occasion, the Pollock surprised Umpire Aleem Dar by hugging him after taking a wicket. South Africa had posted 263 for five at Adelaide Oval in 2005-06. Sri Lanka, in response, kept losing wickets until Chaminda Vaas joined Tillakaratne Dilshan and the pair began adding quick runs bringing the equation to 11 runs from the final seven balls. Vaas slogged one off Pollock but was caught by Johan at wide long-on. A jubilant Pollock turned around and hugged the first man who came to his sight  – Aleem Dar.

9. The debut:

In 1995-96, South Africa Pollock along with Jacques Kallis made their debut together against England in the home tour. On his One-Day International (ODI) debut against England at Cape Town, Pollock scored 66 not out batting at No. 8. and then went on to take four for 34. He is one of the few players to have scored a fifty and taken four wickets on ODI debut. His knock also remains the highest score by a batsman on ODI debut at that position.

10. Only player with 3000 runs and 300 wickets:

Pollock was a true all-rounder in modern cricket. With the ball, he would deliver incisive spells upfront. Lower down the order, he was a useful batsman who could chip in with useful runs. In Tests, he has 3781 runs and 421 wickets. In ODIs, he has 3519 runs and 393 wickets. Thus, he is the only player with 3000 runs and 300 wickets in Tests and ODIs.

11. Only man with two test tons at No. 9:

Pollock has batted at all positions from No. 4 to No. 9 in Test cricket. Interestingly, both his Test tons came at No. 9 in the year 2001. He is the only man with two Test tons at that position.

12. Outside of cricket:

Pollock is good friends with golf icon Gary Player regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time. Polly regularly plays in the Gary Player Invitational charity golf series to help raise funds for underprivileged children. Post retirement, he tried his hands at broadcasting and commentated on Sky Sports and Test Match Special on the BBC during the 2008 England vs South Africa Test Series.

13. The miser:

Pollock’s economy rate of 3.65 runs per over is the second best behind that of Fanie de Villiers among the 18 players who have bowled at least 2,000 balls for South Africa in ODIs.

14. Personal life:

He is married to Patricia “Trish” Lauderdale and has two daughters, Jemma and Georgia. Jemma was born in August 2003, and Georgia in July 2006. Lauderdale was a finalist in the Miss South Africa pageant in the early ’90s and also worked for MTN, a South African telecom company.

15. A respected figure in South Africa:

Shaun Pollock was conferred with the OIS (Order of Ikhamanga). It is a South African honour granted by the President of South Africa for excellent achievements in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sports.

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