Friday, January 11, 2008

Pollock announces retirement

Pollock took 4 for 35 in West Indies' first innings, in what is his final Test...

Shaun Pollock, the South Africa allrounder, has announced his retirement from international cricket following the second day's play against West Indies in Durban. The current Test, his 108th, will be his last and the one-day series that follows the final matches for his country.

"I'd like to thank Cricket South Africa for allowing me the opportunity of representing my country for the last 12 years," Pollock told a press conference after the day's play. "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."

"I made the decision at the start of the season that the West Indies series would be my last," he said. "I have been fortunate to be in a team that has had the calibre of players to beat any opposition on any given day. I have made some wonderful friendships and have played against some remarkable characters."

Pollock, 34, regained his Test place for the deciding match against West Indies after not playing in the five-day game since January 2007. He currently stands on 420 Test wickets, the most by a South African, and 387 in ODIs. There is a chance he will finish with 400 in both forms depending on his success in the one-day series against West Indies.

Pollock was thrust into the captaincy of South Africa in April 2000 when Hansie Cronje was drummed out of the game, and he faced the biggest challenge of his career - to lift a shocked and demoralised South African side. However, after a solid start to his captaincy, he lost some credibility after a 3-0 drubbing in Australia in 2001-02, and was later blamed for South Africa's disastrous World Cup in which they failed to qualify for the Super Sixes.

As a result, Pollock immediately lost the captaincy and was replaced by Graeme Smith. Though his nagging brilliance around offstump remained, his pace and ability to take wickets at the top of the order dipped in latter years.

"I realise I have been blessed by God," he said, "and feel I have nurtured my talents to the best of my abilities."

Pakistan want forfeited Test to be overturned

Pakistan want forfeited Test to be overturned...

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked the ICC to change the result of the Oval Test against England, played in August 2006, which was officially awarded as a forfeit to England.

A senior board official confirmed to Cricinfo that the ICC cricket committee will consider an application from Pakistan in which they want the result of the Oval test overturned at their next meeting. The official said that Pakistan made the application last year and wanted the result declared abandoned or drawn.

England were declared winners of the Test after Pakistan forfeited the match on the fourth day in protest over umpire Darrell Hair's decision to penalise them for alleged ball tampering. It was the first forfeited result in Test cricket.

Pakistan refused to play on after tea once Hair had awarded England five penalty runs in their second innings for ball tampering. The issue escalated into a major row, with the ICC eventually dropping the ball tampering charges against Pakistan but suspending then captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq for four matches for misconduct. The ICC later also stopped posting Hair in international matches, a stance it has yet to change.

"We have made the application to the ICC and they will consider it at the next cricket committee meeting," the official told Cricinfo.

Pakistan's case, he added, was strengthened by the fact that England supported the application when the matter was discussed at the executive board meeting of the ICC.

"We have moved the application on the basis of the ICC dropping the ball tampering charges against our team," the official added.

Inzamam told BBC's Urdu service that Pakistan should take a lead from the Indian board and push to change the result of the Oval Test. Inzamam was referring to the ICC's decision to drop Steve Bucknor from the Perth Test between India and Australia after the BCCI complained over Bucknor's umpiring in Sydney. Inzamam said the Pakistan board should pressurise the ICC because the ball tampering charges were eventually dropped. England won the series 3-0.