Shaun Pollock November 5, 2009

Frank and Tony not invited

Proving critics wrong, misreading tables, evoking dad, and getting hit on the head

First comparison with Peter Pollock
The first time I was compared to my father was in an article in one of the local newspapers when I was 11. I was playing for the first team at school and the story's headline was "Chip off the old block."

First five-for
It was in my first match for my primary school's first team. I was in grade five and playing for Northlands Primary. I got seven wickets for 13 in the match.

First half-century
My first fifty in professional cricket was in my first one-day international. That was against England at Newlands in 1996. It was a particularly important match for me because before that match there was a lot of criticism around my selection, and a lot of people were saying that I probably wasn't deserving of a place in the team. My best bowling before that had been 3 for 23 and my highest score, batting in the lower order, was 24. In that ODI I got four wickets for 34 and scored 66 not out, so I managed to better both my best bowling and batting figures in one match.

First tryst with Duckworth-Lewis
The first time I saw a Duckworth-Lewis sheet - well, to be honest, I can't remember. But I will tell you that the match against Sri Lanka during the 2003 World Cup in Durban felt like the first time. Duckworth and Lewis certainly aren't on my Christmas card list.

First knock on the head
The first time I got hit on the head was by Devon Malcolm during the second Test against England in the 1995-96 series. I wasn't concussed or injured in any way, but being hit by Malcolm was pretty ironic considering that Fanie de Villiers had hit him on the head earlier in England.

As told to Firdose Moonda, a freelance writer based in Johannesburg