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January 11, 2008
Shaun Pollock, the South Africa allrounder, has announced his retirement from international cricket following the second day's play against West Indies in Durban. The current Test, his 108th, will be his last and the one-day series that follows the final matches for his country.
"I'd like to thank Cricket South Africa for allowing me the opportunity of representing my country for the last 12 years," Pollock told a press conference after the day's play. "I thoroughly enjoy the honour and privilege of wearing the Protea badge and take with me some remarkable memories having played against some great players.
"I made the decision at the start of the season that the West Indies series would be my last," he said. "I have been fortunate to be in a team that has had the calibre of players to beat any opposition on any given day. I have made some wonderful friendships and have played against some remarkable characters."
Pollock, 34, regained his Test place for the deciding match against West Indies after not playing in the five-day game since January 2007. He currently stands on 420 Test wickets, the most by a South African, and 387 in ODIs. There is a chance he will finish with 400 in both forms depending on his success in the one-day series against West Indies.
Pollock was thrust into the captaincy of South Africa in April 2000 when Hansie Cronje was drummed out of the game, and he faced the biggest challenge of his career - to lift a shocked and demoralised South African side. However, after a solid start to his captaincy, he lost some credibility after a 3-0 drubbing in Australia in 2001-02, and was later blamed for South Africa's disastrous World Cup in which they failed to qualify for the Super Sixes.
As a result, Pollock immediately lost the captaincy and was replaced by Graeme Smith. Though his nagging brilliance around off stump remained, his pace and ability to take wickets at the top of the order dipped in latter years.
"I realise I have been blessed by God," he said, "and feel I have nurtured my talents to the best of my abilities."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.