Shaun Maclean Pollock OIS (born 16 July 1973) is a South African cricket commentator and former cricketer, who was captain in all formats of the game. He is considered as one of the finest medium pacers of his time. A genuine bowling all-rounder, Pollock along with Allan Donald formed a bowling partnership for many years. 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 chosen as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2003.
On 11 January 2008 he announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket after his 303rd One Day International on 3 February. Pollock now works as a commentator on SuperSports coverage of South African cricket.
He is joint 10th in the all-time best ever bowler ratings in the LG ICC Ratings, and has taken over 400 wickets and at the time of his retirement was one of only six players to have scored 3000 runs and taken 300 wickets in Test matches.
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.
He was the leading wicket taker for South Africa in Tests until Dale Steyn overtook him on 26 December 2018. He took over 400 test wickets and scored over 3,700 test runs in his 108 Test matches.
Shaun Pollock was a bowling all-rounder. After Hansie Cronje was banned from cricket for life, Pollock took over the captaincy in April 2000. He was eventually removed from the captaincy after South Africa’s performance in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
Although no longer captain, he retained his place in the team. After a disappointing Test series tour of Australia in 2005/2006, he faced 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. 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 3 February 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 later represented Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, and Durham Dynamos in the 2008 Twenty20 Cup in England.
Pollock took four wickets in four balls on his first appearance for Warwickshire – in a limited-overs (B&H Cup) game v Leicestershire at Birmingham in 1996. He also recently received the SA Player’s Player award and the SA ODI Player of the Year Award.
- Shaun Pollock has the record for the most number of test centuries when batting at number 9 position (2).
- He also holds the record for playing the most number of ODI innings before scoring a century (189).
- Shaun Pollock also holds the record for becoming the first test captain to be stranded or to be remained unbeaten on 99 in a test innings.
- He too holds the record for taking the most number of ODI wickets when playing at home soil (193).
Shaun Pollock’s career-best ranking and rating in the cricket ratings as determined by the International Cricket Council are as follows:
- Test Batting 37th (565
- Test Bowling 1st (909
- Test All-rounders 1st (489
- ODI Batting 34th (589
- ODI Bowling 1st (920
- ODI All-rounders best 1st (496).
Pollock comes from a family of mainly Scottish ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Andrew Pollock, who played for Orange Free State, was born in Edinburgh. He attended Northwood School in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. 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. He is a teetotaller and a devout Christian. Pollock is a graduate of the University of Natal with a bachelor’s degree in commerce.