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ICC gets ready to honour Graeme Pollock during South Africa's Catch the Spirit week

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is getting ready to honour South Africa batting legend Graeme Pollock this week during the first Test between South Africa and Australia in Johannesburg.

ICC gets ready to honour Graeme Pollock during South Africa's Catch the Spirit week - Cricket News
In 23 Tests Graeme Pollock made seven hundreds and 11 fifties from only 41 trips to the crease.

Batting legend to be inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at tea on day one of the Johannesburg Test match

Host of activities taking place throughout Africa to mark the ICC’s centenary year

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is getting ready to honour South Africa batting legend Graeme Pollock this week during the first Test between South Africa and Australia in Johannesburg.

The left-hander is set to be formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during the tea interval on the first day of the match on Thursday when he receives a commemorative cap to mark the occasion.

The ceremony is the highlight of the ICC’s Catch the Spirit week in the country, aimed at promoting the organisation’s centenary celebrations.

Pollock, the brother of former South Africa pace bowler Peter and uncle to ex-Proteas captain Shaun, is one of only two South Africans in the initial intake of 55 players in the Hall of Fame*, a joint venture between the ICC and the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).

The other, Barry Richards, received his commemorative cap ahead of the ODI between Australia and South Africa at the WACA Ground in Perth in late January.

Graeme Pollock’s international exposure was cut short by South Africa’s sporting isolation but even in a truncated career he stamped an indelible mark on the game at the highest level.

In 23 Tests he made seven hundreds and 11 fifties from only 41 trips to the crease and of players to have played 20 innings or more in the longest form of the game, only the great Donald Bradman (99.94) averaged more than his 60.97.

In first-class cricket Graeme Pollock was scarcely less devastating with 29,040 runs at an average of 54.67, including 64 hundreds and 99 fifties.

The cap presentation ceremony is a key part of the celebrations to mark the ICC’s centenary year as it acknowledges the greats of the game and the contributions they have made to ensure cricket is a great sport with a great spirit.

Other ICC Cricket Hall of Famers to have received their caps so far in 2009 are ex-Australia wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh and the West Indies trio of former captain Sir Vivian Richards and fast bowlers Michael Holding and Andy Roberts.

Further cap presentations will be made during the course of the year and a limited number of inductees, in addition to the 55 already chosen, will be named during 2009.

The Catch the Spirit week in Johannesburg is part of a range of activities across the continent of Africa to celebrate the spirit of cricket and 100 years of the ICC.

Events include a tour to Botswana from an under-13 team from Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, an HIV/AIDS awareness six-a-side tournament in Kenya, a junior cricket festival in Mozambique and the ICC Africa U/19 Regional Qualifier in Zambia.

These events illustrate the wide appeal of the game in Africa and also the significant steps the ICC has made in developing the game on the continent.

It is fitting that Graeme Pollock will receive the award of his ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap on such a wonderful stage – the first match of a series that will decide which of the two teams, South Africa or Australia, can call itself the number one Test team.

Australia holds that title at the moment and will retain it, together with the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship mace, if it draws or wins the series.

But success for South Africa will see it topple Australia off top spot in the ladder for the first time in almost six years.

The ICC’s Catch the Spirit flag will be present at the Johannesburg Test match as it continues its whistle-stop trip around the planet.

The flag, which has already been to Australia, Bangladesh and Antigua and Barbuda, is one of the symbols of the centenary and throughout 2009 the ICC will be asking people to sign it as it makes its way throughout the cricket world.

At the end of the 12-month period it will be a reflection of the year in world cricket.

The signing process began in Sydney where Australia and South Africa locked horns in the New Year Test match as former players Tony Greig (England), Richie Benaud, Mark Taylor, Ian Chappell, Stephen Waugh, Bill Lawry, Ian Healy and Shane Warne (all Australia) as well as current women’s players Lisa Sthalekar (Australia), Isa Guha and Holly Colvin (England) and several other cricketing figures all supplied their autographs.

*ICC Cricket Hall of Fame – initial inductees (55):

Sydney Barnes, Bishan Bedi, Alec Bedser, Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Denis Compton, Colin Cowdrey, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Lance Gibbs, Graham Gooch, David Gower, WG Grace, Tom Graveney, Gordon Greenidge, Richard Hadlee, Walter Hammond, Neil Harvey, George Headley, Jack Hobbs, Michael Holding, Leonard Hutton, Rohan Kanhai, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Jim Laker, Harold Larwood, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Clive Lloyd, Hanif Mohammad, Rodney Marsh, Malcolm Marshall, Peter May, Javed Miandad, Keith Miller, Bill O’Reilly, Graeme Pollock, Wilfred Rhodes, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Woolley, Frank Worrell.

About the ICC centenary year

ICC President David Morgan and Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat officially launched the ICC centenary year in Sydney, Australia on 2 January by announcing the formation of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, in association with FICA.

The ICC’s centenary year of 2009 will be a global celebration with events taking place around the world to reflect all that is great about the game.

On the field these events include the ICC Women’s World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, the ICC World Twenty20 event for men and women and the ICC Champions Trophy.

And off the field there will be the opening of the ICC Global Cricket Academy and the inauguration of the ICC’s new headquarters, both of which are in Dubai, and an ICC cricket history conference at St Antony’s College, Oxford in the United Kingdom in July.

The ICC will also be celebrating the contribution of volunteers across the world through the award of 1,000 centenary medals and will announce new developments to its social responsibility partnership on HIV/AIDS.

During the course of 2009, each of the ICC’s 104 Members will be hosting activities inspired by the special spirit of cricket as part of the global Catch the Spirit centenary celebration.

Among those stars that can be seen on the website, Yuvraj Singh of India speaks of his experiences in Pakistan – India matches and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis reflects on his side’s famous chase of 438 to beat Australia in a ODI in Johannesburg.


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