South Africa all-rounder Pollock announces retirement

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Durban, South Africa, Jan 12 (UNI) Recalled South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock has announced his retirement from international cricket after a sparking performance against West Indies in second Test here.

Pollock, 34, after announcing his retirement yesterday, said the current Test, his 108th, will be his last and the one-day series that follows the final matches for his country.

Speaking to the mediapersons Pollock said ''A few people have made me offers, but I haven't decided anything yet.'' ''I'd like to take at least a year off to be with my family.'' Pollock was left out of the first six tests South Africa played this season. He returned to take 4-35 in the first innings of the third test.

Pollock made his test debut against England at Centurion in 1995.

Former South Africa captain said ''I'd like to thank Cricket South Africa for allowing me the opportunity of representing my country for the last 12 years,'' adding ''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.

Pollock, regained his place for the deciding match against West Indies after not playing in the five-day game since January 2007.

Pollock 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.'' UNI XC CS RKM DS1301

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