Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Proteas drop Pollock for first Test against Pakistan

AXED South Africa's selectors decided to drop Shaun Pollock for the first time after 107 Tests, but he still feels he has a part to play on the international stage


Veteran all-rounder Shaun Pollock on Friday said he was disappointed after being dropped from the South African team for next week's first Test against Pakistan.

"I am a bit surprised and disappointed at being told that I will not be part of the team in the first Test," Pollock told reporters ahead of the Test which starts in Karachi tomorrow.

The 34-year-old was also not part of the team which has been playing a three-day warm-up match against the Patron's XI since Thursday.

"Mickey [Arthur, the South African coach] told me yesterday that they wanted to go into the first Test with a different side and I won't be part of it," Pollock said.

"Obviously it's disappointing but from the team's perspective we have to move on and think what is the best for the team," said Pollock, who has taken 416 wickets in 107 Tests besides having scored 3,781 runs.

He has 383 wickets in 290 one-day internationals.

"I am more disappointed because this is for the first time that I have been dropped but you have to move on. I am not the right man for the job at the moment," he said.

"Obviously Mickey had a discussion and he told me I am not in the team because they wanted to use Jacques Kallis and Paul Harris for the first Test," he said.

"You could say I am surprised to have been eliminated already. Mickey has spoken to me once before, about three months back, that they were not too sure what tactics they have for tour of Pakistan," Pollock said.

"But when I was chosen in the squad I thought I had a good chance to play and it did come as a surprise to me," he said.

"Mickey and Graeme [Smith, the South African skipper] are in charge of making the decision and they have to decide what is the best way to go ... no individual is bigger than the team," Pollock said.

But the veteran paceman ruled out retirement or joining the breakaway Indian league in response to his omission.

"I am not going to take any decision and will take my career season by season as I still feel I have a part to play, especially in South Africa where pitches are conducive for fast bowlers," he said.

"I was man of the series against India in Tests earlier this year and performed well in the series against Pakistan [both in South Africa] so I feel I have enough to offer," Pollock said.

"As for the Indian league they approached me five months back as they approached everybody else but I was not interested then and I am not interested now," said Pollock about the multimillion-dollar league bankrolled by India's largest media group.

Pollock said he did not lack the motivation to stage a comeback.

"It's not difficult to motivate yourself when you play for your country and I still have the motivation to play for South Africa. I will look for my chance in the second Test," Pollock said.

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