Peter Maclean Pollock
June 30, 1941, Pietermaritzburg, Natal
Also Known As
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
South African cricket's debt to Peter Pollock is threefold: as the country's premier fast bowler during the 1960s, the last decade before South Africa's international isolation; as convener of selectors during the 1990s, when he gave an inexperienced team a vision and pattern (unsurprisingly based on disciplined and relentless seam bowling) that has made the side one of the game's top two teams; and as Shaun Pollock's father he played a not insignificant role in providing South Africa with a Test captain and one of the world's leading allrounders.
The older Pollock brother ("Pooch" to Graeme's "Little Dog") learned his trade bowling to one of cricket's greatest batsmen in the backyard of their Port Elizabeth home. Something of a tearaway as a young bowler, Pollock never really lost his killer instinct even as age and dodgy knees began to take their toll. He formed a productive partnership with the Rhodesian swing bowler Joe Partridge in Australia in 1963-64 which enabled South Africa unexpectedly to draw the series 2-2, and another at the end of the decade with a youthful Mike Procter as Australia were beaten 3-1 and 4-0 in successive home series.
For the Pollock brothers, though, few moments in their careers eclipsed
the 1965 Trent Bridge Test, when Peter took 5 for 53 and 5 for 34 and Graeme made 125 and 59 as South Africa won by 94 runs, a victory that enabled them to
take the three-Test series 1-0. Peter took 116 wickets in 28 Tests at 24.18
and also made two fifties to average 21.67 as a handy lower-order batsman. A
trained journalist, Peter is a lay preacher, and there are few more
astute (or single-minded) judges in the game.
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