9 May 2008
Shaun Pollock has retired from international cricket, but he remains busy in the international game, playing for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. South Africa’s all-time leading test wicket-taker remains a highly-respected star of the game, whose contribution has been recognised twice in recent days, both abroad and at home.
Firstly, he was named a member of the MCC World Cricket Committee. Launched in April 2006, the committee was established to safeguard the values of cricket, including aspects relating to the laws or spirit of the game.
Only 18 men make up its committee, among them some legends, such as Geoff Boycott, Barry Richards, Courtney Walsh and Steve Waugh. It is company that Pollock belongs in.
Many of the members have captained their countries; they include Mike Atherton, Mike Brearley, Martin Crowe, Andy Flower, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Mike Gatting, Majid Khan, and Alec Stewart.
One would be hard-pressed to find a former teammate or opponent with anything negative to say about Pollock; he is respected not only as a player, but also as man. Thus it is that he appears a perfect choice for the MCC World Cricket Committee.
Pollock was approached by MCC secretary and CEO Keith Bradshaw and MCC head of cricket John Stephenson to join the World Cricket Committee. They recently met with him in India where he reportedly shared many ideas with the MCC men.
His comments on his role on the committee reflect his views on the game of cricket. Pollock hopes to celebrate cricket’s rich history and tradition, but help in bringing about changes that will benefit the game.
He says he sees his selection as “a huge honour” and the next challenge in his cricketing life.
The SA star said the committee has a huge role to play in celebrating cricket’s rich history while, at the same, embracing changes that will benefit the game.
The next meeting of the World Cricket Committee is on 12 May and 13 May at Lords. Due to his obligations in the Indian Premier League, Pollock will not be able to attend it but, in his discussions with Bradshaw and Lewis, he spoke about many of the issues that will be addressed in London.
The issues to be discussed include the effect that Twenty20 cricket, especially the Indian Premier League with the huge money involved in the competiton, might have on cricket, a look at players’ conduct, and technology.
Also up for discussion is a proposal that would allow teams to challenge umpiring decisions. Using “Hawk-Eye” technology, each team would be allowed three unsuccessful challenges an innings.
On Thursday evening, Pollock was also honoured at the South African Breweries Sportswriters’ Awards evening in Johannesburg when he was named the most media-friendly sports personality.
His cousin, Anthony, the son of South Africa’s Cricketer of the 20th Century, Graeme Pollock, accepted the award on the all-rounder’s behalf.
Cricket South Africa CEO Geraldo Majola paid tribute to Pollock, saying: “Shaun Pollock has been one of cricket’s greatest role models and has a wonderful way with the media and the public. This makes him a most apt recipient of this prestigious SAB Sports Award and is another indication of the positive impact he has made on the game.”
National coach Mickey Arthur also praised Pollock unreservedly. “It is typical of the guy,” he said. “He has always been very professional both on and off the field and he fully deserves to be honoured in this way. The entire Proteas squad is extremely proud of him.”
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