February 28, 2001

Pollock to pay homage to Marshall in the Caribbean

Shaun Pollock will pay homage at the grave of Malcolm Marshall in Barbados, the South African captain said just hours before departing for the West Indies on Wednesday night.

Pollock said the great West Indian had been his mentor as a young fast bowler and that for him to lead South Africa on their first full tour of the West Indies carried special significance.

He said that despite the West Indies dismal record overseas in recent years, he expected stiff opposition in the Caribbean, pointing to the likes of Carl Hooper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul as players likely to stiffen West Indian resolve.

"It's going to be a tough tour," he said, "hopping from island to island won't be easy and they've got a very proud record at home.

"For me it will be a bit emotional. Macca played a big part in my early career, as many West Indian coaches and players have helped South Africans, and I'll be paying homage at his grave."

Coach Graham Ford conceded that his job might be made more difficult by the lack of adequate practice facilities in the Caribbean, "but we've toured countries before where the facilities aren't very good and it's up to us to make the most of them and train as hard as we can".

South Africa have visited the West Indies only once, in 1992 when the tourists collapsed on the final morning of the only Test match in Bridgetown to lose by 52 runs.

The South Africans flew out of Johannesburg on Wednesday night for Gatwick Airport in London en route for the Caribbean. The tour, which lasts just under three months, will take in five Test matches for the Viv Richards Trophy and seven one-day internationals.