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Graeme Pollock feeling 'absolutely fantastic' about induction into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

South Africa batting great Graeme Pollock said on Thursday it was “absolutely fantastic” to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Graeme Pollock feeling 'absolutely fantastic' about induction into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame - Cricket News
Graeme 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.

“It’s nice to have this for cricketers who have achieved something in the game to get recognition in this way”

“I’ve played with a lot of great cricketers on the list and to be part of that is great”

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat: “It was a special moment for me to present that cap”

High-quality audio available for free download and use at the ICC’s website http://www.icc-cricket.com


Photographs available through Getty Images

South Africa batting great Graeme Pollock said on Thursday it was “absolutely fantastic” to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

The left-hander received his commemorative cap from International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat during the tea interval on day one of the first South Africa – Australia Test in Johannesburg and afterwards reflected on what it meant to him.

“I’ve played with some great cricketers going back 10, 20 and 30 years who are on the list* and to part of that is great,” he said.

“It’s nice to have this for cricketers who have achieved something in the game to get recognition in this way and to be included.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to be included in the first 55 as you could quite easily have named 100 and there would be no criticism because there have been so many wonderful players,” he added.

Haroon Lorgat, who hails from South Africa, also explained what it meant to him to be the one handing over the cap, alongside Cricket South Africa President Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka.

“When I was growing up I couldn’t go to the ground to watch him,” he said.

“We knew there was this icon player, this great player, and we read a lot about him but because of those (apartheid) times we couldn’t see him live.

“So, after all these years, to present Graeme with his ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap was a special moment,” added Mr Lorgat.

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.

Pollock was a guest of Cricket South Africa during the first day’s play in Johannesburg and with the top spot in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table at stake he believed the Proteas were in a good position to take that mantle from Australia.

“I think South Africa’s had good cricketers for some time but they got into positions where they couldn’t follow through,” he said.

“Learning how to win is a big factor and I think they have done that over the past 18 months.

“They have got a good top six which is contributing so they will always get good scores, their bowling attack has balance and they are a fantastic fielding side.

“The conditions will suit them here, they have caught the Aussies at a time when they have lost some incredible cricketers and you just don’t replace them overnight.

“There’s an opportunity for South Africa that they have got to push home and they have got a great chance of doing that,” added Mr Pollock.

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 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.

Photographs of the presentation ceremony are available through Getty Images.

The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap presentation ceremony is a key part of the Catch the Spirit week in Johannesburg and 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.

*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.

To promote this theme and the launch of the ICC’s centenary year website, www.catchthespirit.com, stars of the international game have named their “Catch the Spirit” moments which best encapsulate the spirit of cricket.

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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