Graeme Pollock      

Full name Robert Graeme Pollock

Born February 27, 1944, Durban, Natal

Current age 76 years 333 days

Major teams South Africa, Eastern Province, Transvaal

Batting style Left-hand bat

Bowling style Legbreak

Relation Father - AM Pollock, Uncle - R Howden, Brother - PM Pollock, Cousin - RM Nicholson, Cousin - CR Nicholson, Son - AG Pollock, Son - GA Pollock, Nephew - SM Pollock

In a nutshell South Africa's player of the 20th century, and perhaps the finest left-hand batsman the game has ever produced, Graeme Pollock played only 23 Tests, but those were enough to rank him among the game's all-time greats. More

Robert Graeme Pollock
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct St
Tests 23 41 4 2256 274 60.97 7 11 11 17 0
First-class 262 437 54 20940 274 54.67 64 99 248 0
List A 118 112 19 4656 222* 50.06 12 25 45 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 23 13 414 204 4 2/50 2/50 51.00 2.95 103.5 0 0 0
First-class 262 3743 2062 43 3/46 47.95 3.30 87.0 0 0
List A 118 63 59 0 - - - 5.61 - 0 0 0
Career statistics
Test debut Australia v South Africa at Brisbane, Dec 6-11, 1963 scorecard
Last Test South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth, Mar 5-10, 1970 scorecard
Test statistics
First-class span 1960/61 - 1986/87
List A span 1969/70 - 1986/87

Perhaps the finest left-hand batsman the game has ever produced - Donald Bradman certainly thought so, classing only Garry Sobers as his equal among those he saw play. Another deprived of greater exposure by South Africa's isolation, Pollock showed in his 23 Tests what an awesome talent he possessed; his highest score of 274 was for many years the South African Test record. Pollock was an extremely powerful batsman, although his timing was perhaps his most obvious natural asset, and could also bowl effective legspin at times. He scored his maiden first-class century when he was just 16 and then posted his first Test hundred at 19 in Australia. Part of the cricketing Pollock family, brother of Peter and uncle to Shaun, he now sits on the South African selection committee.
Neil Manthorp

Robert Houwing on Graeme Pollock

An artist in the super league of left-handers

If you're a South African born not later than the sixties, there'll only ever be one No. 4 for you

Stats analysis

One of South Africa's finest

He played only 23 Tests, but finished with 2256 runs and an average bordering on 61 - among the best for any batsman

    • February 27, 1944
      Little Dog cometh
      • Is born into a Scottish family. His father, Andrew, is a former first-class cricketer. Earns the nickname Little Dog because of his queer-sounding lbw appeals; his brother Peter is Big Dog.
    • 1953
      Three figures in short pants
      • At age nine, he takes all 10 wickets and scores 117 (111 out of 120 at one point) for Grey High School. Agrees to go and collect the ball himself after one of his sixes ends in a nearby cemetery.
    • December 9, 1960
      First-class cricketer in the summer hols
      • In a career distinguished by the precociousness, Pollock makes his first-class debut for Eastern Province at the age of 16, during his school's summer vacation. Playing against Border, he scores 54 in the only batting chance he gets in a nine-wicket win. A legspinner by then, he takes 2 for 52 in Border's second innings.
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Best Performances
    • 2 and 209 not out v International Cavaliers, Port Elizabeth, 1962-63
      • Pollock was a success in his first domestic season when an International Cavaliers side, featuring such bowlers as Richie Benaud and Graham McKenzie, came touring. The Eastern Province Invitation XI could score only 263 in the first innings, and fell behind by 138 runs. Then Pollock announced himself to the world. From 24 for 2 in the second innings, he scored 209 out of the 331 further runs. His innings gave Peter van der Merwe enough runs to declare, and Eastern Province nearly eked out a win. Benaud described the innings as "magnificent", and later said, "I knew I was watching a champion."
    • 122 and 42 v Australia, Sydney, 1963-64
      • Pollock was 19 when he was selected for the 1963-64 tour of Australia. He had a disappointing start to the tour, making 25 and 16 and 2 in the first two Tests. With questions raised over his place in the side before the Sydney Test, he became the youngest South African to score a Test century. On a pitch generous enough with grass to see Australia bowled out for 260, Pollock produced an innings of fierce strokeplay. His 122 came out of 186 in three hours and 41 minutes; the second fifty of his century came in 17 scoring strokes. Don Bradman said, "Next time you decide to play like that, send me a telegram."
    • 125 and 59 v England, Trent Bridge, 1965
      • In his autobiography, Pollock described the first-innings 125 at Trent Bridge as his best knock. He came in at 16 for 2, saw the innings disintegrate to 80 for 5, and made 125 out of the 162 that were added while he batted. It was indeed one of the finest Test displays at the time. It was divided into two parts. In 70 minutes before lunch, Pollock felt his way tentatively while making 34. Afterwards he reigned supreme for 69 more minutes, while he lashed the bowling for 91 out of 102. For the most part his strokes were clean, and he offered no chance until Colin Cowdrey smartly held him at slip. Peter, Pollock's brother, followed his batting exploits with a 10-wicket haul to secure South Africa their first win in England in 10 years.
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Latest Articles
Latest Photos

Feb 26, 2009

Graeme Pollock with his ICC Hall of Fame cap, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 1st day, February 26, 2009

Graeme Pollock with his ICC Hall of Fame cap

© Getty Images

Feb 26, 2009

Graeme Pollock was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame during the opening day, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 1st day, February 26, 2009

Graeme Pollock waves his ICC Hall of Fame cap

© Getty Images

Nov 27, 1997

Graeme and Shaun Pollock smile before the game. South Africa v Chairman's XI at Lilac Hill, Perth, November 25th 1997

Graeme and Shaun Pollock

© Action Photographics


Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1966