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Cricketers on their idols

Dave Richardson on Graeme Pollock

A dasher, a run-machine, a gent

It wasn't how many he got, but how he got them

Nagraj Gollapudi

January 3, 2010

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Graeme Pollock bats, England v South Africa, first Test, 1965
Always attractive: Pollock bats at Lord's in 1965 © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Graeme Pollock | David Richardson
Teams: South Africa

I come from Port Elizabeth. And I suppose every kid growing up there looked up to Graeme Pollock as his hero.

He was a tall left-hander and always attractive to watch. It was just the way he batted. The way he made it look so easy was what made him special. He hit the ball with such power through the covers but it seemed as if he had caressed it. The ball would rebound off the pickets nearly all the way back to the cover fielder.

It was not only the number of runs he made but the manner in which he got them: it was just effortless. Not only I, but everybody regarded him as an absolute pleasure to watch.

His last game came during the rebel series against Australia at home and I was lucky to play with him. He was 43 then but he scored a lot of runs, including a few centuries against the likes of Rodney Hogg, Carl Rackemann, Rod McCurdy, John Maguire, all reasonable bowlers who had played a lot of first-class cricket or Test cricket. They were at their wits' end as he hit them all over the place.

Graeme is a gentleman and what I liked always about him was his modesty - for someone who was such a legendary figure in South African cricket he is extremely modest. He treated youngsters no different from anybody else in the team. And while a lot of the past players might be a little bitter, Graeme hasn't got that.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi

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